University of Georgia students in UGA’s College of Pharmacy and from Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods will benefit from a $1.5 million gift from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
The foundation designated $1 million for the College of Pharmacy to support pharmacy students facing financial hardships.
The remaining $500,000, matched by $500,000 from the UGA Foundation, establishes another endowment that will fund five need-based scholarships annually for students from Atlanta Westside neighborhoods — English Avenue, Vine City and Castleberry Hill.
Five undergraduates — three first-year students and two already enrolled — received the scholarship for Westside students from the newly established Angela and Arthur M. Blank Scholarship Fund.
The Blank Foundation has for more than a decade funded efforts aiming to transform the Westside neighborhoods, including health, education, housing, civic empowerment, workforce development, youth development, parks and other areas.
Since the foundation was formed in 1995, it has given more than $300 million to charitable organizations.
Arthur Blank is the co-founder of Home Depot, now the world’s largest home improvement retailer. His current portfolio of businesses includes the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and others. His wife, Angela Blank, is a director of the Blank Foundation and is a member of the UGA Board of Visitors.
The Westside scholarships add to the growing total of need-based scholarships, one of the centerpieces of UGA’s latest capital campaign.
UGA President Jere Morehead announced in January the “Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program,” with a goal of adding 400 to 600 new needs-based scholarships. The number now exceeds 130 scholarships, according to a UGA announcement. The UGA Foundation would match any gift of $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000 for needs-based scholarships, he said.