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The money has been donated by William Berkley, who went on to study for his Harvard MBA directly after his undergraduate degree at NYU in 1966. “At 20 years old, I had big ideas and I was incredibly eager to get started. I knew the tools of an MBA would be essential, and I had no time to lose,” says Mr Berkley. “I had the rare opportunity to pursue my passion at a young age, and we want to bring to Stern the brightest students in the world who are ready to do the same.”
The donation forms part of a larger $1bn campaign run by NYU over six years to increase the number of scholarships it offers, vital as many find the cost of a university education increasingly unaffordable. So far, the university has raised $222m for scholarships since the campaign began two years ago.
Stern will select Berkley Scholars based on the combination of previous academic performance and exceptional potential to contribute to business and society. They will each receive the full cost of the two-year tuition and fees, and in addition a housing stipend of $18,000 a year, plus $10,000 a year for books and other expenses.
Stern dean Peter Blair Henry says the scholarships are for those who “dream big. Whether they’ve studied engineering or economics, physics or philosophy and everything in between, we want to put the tools of business into the hands of the most promising leaders of tomorrow.”