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Northwestern Receives Its Largest Gift to Financial Aid

University Trustee Jeff Ubben and Laurie Ubben have committed $50 million for student scholarships.

financial aid students
Scholarships and other forms of support help students thrive at Northwestern.

Fall 2019

A transformative gift from two longtime donors will help generations of highly qualified students obtain a Northwestern education. Trustee and alumnus Jeff Ubben ’87 MBA and his wife, Laurie, have made an estate commitment of $50 million to support scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and professional school students. It will be the largest gift made to financial aid in the University’s history.

The Ubbens’ bequest will count toward We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, which has fueled 424 new endowed scholarships and fellowships to date, and support the Thrive at Northwestern initiative, which aims to enhance financial aid resources and services for students from all backgrounds.

Over the past 10 years, the University has gone from enrolling 12% to 20% Pell Grant–eligible students in incoming classes. In the 2018–19 academic year, financial aid benefited 61% of undergraduates and 47% of graduate and professional students. Northwestern also has eliminated loans from the financial aid packages of qualifying undergraduates.

“Laurie and I can think of nothing more worthy than to make a Northwestern degree accessible to as many outstanding students as possible,” Jeff Ubben says.

In 2017, Jeff Ubben completed a 10-year tenure as chair of the national board of directors for the Posse Foundation, which identifies high school students with academic and leadership potential for admission into a partner college or university. He was instrumental in developing Northwestern’s partnership with Posse.

The Ubbens’ past Campaign gifts to Northwestern have benefited the Kellogg School of Management, Athletics and Recreation, the Bienen School of Music and the Ubben Program for Climate and Carbon Science within the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern.

Jeff and Laurie Ubben have three children: Charlotte, Theo and Josephine ’20 MBA, who currently attends Kellogg. Jeff Ubben’s father, Timothy ’59 MBA, also attended Kellogg.

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