Bloomberg News

Centre College Loses $250 Million Gift After ‘Market Event’

September 09, 2013

Centre College, a liberal arts school in rural Kentucky, said that a $250 million gift to fund science and education scholarships has been withdrawn because of a “significant capital market event.”

The gift announced in July was made up of stock in Universal Computer Systems Holding Inc. from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust, according to the college in Danville, Kentucky. It would have been one of the biggest donations in the history of U.S. higher education.

“The trust’s intended major gift to fund the program was linked to a significant capital market event, which put considerable time pressure on efforts to structure the gift and the proposed scholarship program,” John Roush, Centre College’s president, said in a statement. “In the end, the parties determined that it was not possible to finalize these matters and get the required approvals from both sides in the time available.”

Centre, which hosted the 2012 vice presidential debate, had 1,137 students last year and was ranked 52nd among liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report. It was founded in 1819. Former students include John Breckinridge, U.S. vice president from 1857 to 1861, and Adlai Stevenson, vice president from 1893 to 1897 and grandfather of the 1952 and 1956 presidential candidate.

Universal Computer Systems is a closely held company that owns Reynolds & Reynolds Co., a Kettering, Ohio-based supplier of software to auto dealers. Reynolds’s chairman is Robert Brockman, the son of A. Eugene Brockman, and a former Centre student from 1959 to 1961, the college said in July.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael McDonald in Boston at mmcdonald10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net


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