Film legend and author Kirk Douglas ‘39 and his wife, Anne, will give $2 million to St. Lawrence University to further endow student scholarships and maintain operation of the residence hall named after Douglas. Through the Douglas Foundation, the couple has donated a total of $7 million to the University since 2012.
This gift designates $1 million to the Kirk Douglas Scholarship fund, established in 1999, and $1 million to endow the improvement, repair, maintenance and operation of Kirk Douglas Hall, a 155-bed residence featuring geothermal heating and cooling that opened in 2014. In 2012, the Douglases contributed $5 million specifically for the Kirk Douglas Scholarship fund.
Two Douglas Scholars are selected each year from underrepresented and low-income backgrounds and are chosen for their demonstrated leadership skills, ambition and potential to contribute to diversity with the campus community. They receive mentoring, a loan-free education including required textbooks, and a guaranteed experiential learning opportunity that may be in the form of an internship, research fellowship or other self-designed opportunity.
St. Lawrence currently has six Douglas Scholars who come from California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota and New York. By the fall 2016 semester, there will be a full cohort of eight Douglas Scholars on campus, two from each class year.
“We are immensely grateful for Kirk and Anne's continued commitment to St. Lawrence,” University President William L. Fox said. “This most recent gift will increase access for cohorts of deserving young scholars and enrich the St. Lawrence experience for many more students. ”
Douglas grew up in Amsterdam, New York, and graduated from St. Lawrence University with a degree in English. While attending St. Lawrence, he was president of the student government organization and a member of the wrestling team and German club. He also participated in dramatic productions on campus. The University awarded him an honorary degree in 1958.
The 2015-16 Douglas Scholars are:
- Elvis Agyemang ’17 of Bronx, New York
- Jasmin Coates ’17 of Glen Burnie, Maryland
- Jackeline Cortez ’19 of Chicago
- Namarig Kram ’18 of Coon Rapids, Minnesota
- Alondra Martinez ’18 of Los Angeles
- Marisol Ramirez ’19 of Schenectady, New York