Claremont McKenna College today announced an unprecedented personal gift of $200 million from alumnus and Trustee Robert Day '65. The gift, which will create the Robert Day Scholars Program, is the largest recorded gift to a liberal arts college, the largest gift in the field of economics and finance, and among the top 20 gifts ever given to a college or university.
The Robert Day Scholars Program is a unique academic program that builds upon the best elements of an undergraduate liberal arts education with state-of-the-art curricula in finance, accounting, and organizational leadership. Day Scholars may elect to pursue either a specific undergraduate program to achieve competency in finance, accounting and leadership psychology, or a new Master of Finance degree, or both. The master's degree will be structured as an intensive, two-semester degree to be completed immediately following senior year. In combination, the undergraduate and master's degree programs will provide a compelling alternative to the traditional MBA framework.
"The goal of this program is to identify the leaders of tomorrow and provide an outstanding education that will prepare them for significant roles within the world's top financial firms, corporations, government, and not-for-profit organizations," said Robert Day. "The global economic landscape is changing at unprecedented speed, with a complexity and breadth that require professional fluency, judgment, and leadership skills beyond the educational expectations of just a decade ago."
The Day gift includes funding for six to eight new faculty members, scholarships and financial aid, and significant enhancements to the College's existing career services and internship programs. The program will also be enhanced by an academic partnership with CMC's Henry R. Kravis Leadership Institute, one of the nation's top leadership programs.
"This tremendous gift advances into the 21st century the legacy the founders gave to CMC, combining the study of liberal arts, economics, and leadership as the best preparation for business innovation, entrepreneurism, and leading complex modern organizations," said President Pamela Gann.
"This forward-looking gift will permit students selected for the Day Scholars Program to pursue a four- or five-year program that synthesizes their liberal arts education and professional aspirations in an uninterrupted combined program," she said. "Robert Day's innovative vision is designed to educate some of the most talented young people in the world today with the best possible curriculum, internships, and leadership development for preparation to lead in a fast-changing world."
In recognition of the extraordinary impact of this gift and of Robert Day's exceptional level of service to CMC over many years, the Board of Trustees has chosen to re-name the department of economics the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance at Claremont McKenna College.
The Robert Day School will include an advisory board comprised of distinguished leaders in business and finance to oversee direction, career placement, and student recruitment activities.
Robert Day earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the College in 1965, and credits much of his entrepreneurial success to his CMC education and the grounding in leadership and economics he received. He founded Trust Company of the West (TCW) in 1971 with $2 million under management and created one of the most successful investment management firms in the world.
Robert Day's commitment to Claremont dates from his college years. He joined the Board of Trustees as its youngest member in 1970, served as chairman of the Board from 1990-1998, and is currently a vice chair of the Board and member of the Executive Committee.
In 1997, under Day's leadership, the W.M. Keck Foundation made a $50 million grant to establish the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, The Claremont Colleges' first entry into graduate-level, application-based scientific research and education. It remains the only graduate institute in the nation focused on the interdisciplinary study of biological sciences, bioinformatics, and bioengineering, and management, to prepare professionals for the biotechnology industry.
"Each year, I recognize more and more the value of my CMC education," Day said. "It is my sincere wish that by giving back to the College in this way, we will help shape the next generation of leaders."
Robert Day is Founder and Chairman of The TCW Group, Inc., an investment management firm with more than US$160 billion in assets under management; and Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the W.M. Keck Foundation, one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations with assets of more than $1.5 billion. He is a member of The Business Council, a Director of Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, Society Generale, a member of the Board of Governors of The Broad Foundations, and a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Claremont McKenna College.
Mr. Day has made this gift personally and not through the W.M. Keck Foundation.
Claremont McKenna College is a highly selective, independent liberal arts college educating leaders in business, the professions, and public affairs. Consistently ranked among the nation's top liberal arts colleges, Claremont McKenna College is a member of The Claremont Colleges consortium.