The College Donor Digest

FAR Helped Donors Create a Scholarship—Now the Scholarship Helps Students

October 02, 2018 | Joe DeGraff

In 2017, FAR worked with donors to establish and fund the J. Eugene Marans Scholarship in International Law at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana. The scholarship pooled donations from friends of J. Eugene Marans, a proud Montanan whose distinguished career in business and international law included helping to secure voting rights for Americans living abroad.

“We wanted to bring Gene's many friends and colleagues together to honor his distinguished career and pro bono activities,” noted Emil Frankel, one of the donors to the fund. “FAR worked with us to pool our funds and structure a gift that would achieve greater impact for years to come.”

When FAR made the grant of pooled funds last year, Paul Kirgis, dean of the Alexander Blewett III School of Law, commented, “The J. Eugene Marans Scholarship in International Law will support our globally-minded students who are eager to understand the political and legal systems in China, one of the world's most powerful economies. We are grateful for the collaboration with FAR, which has enabled us to work with Gene’s friends to establish a meaningful program that celebrates a great Montanan and offers an exciting new opportunity for our students.”

In the summer of 2018, the inaugural J. Eugene Marans Scholarships were awarded to two Montana students to fund summer study in China. In the words of one student: 

It was inspiring to study in a unique setting, so different than Montana. We had excellent professors who gave us a rigorous academic experience, but also encouraged us to take time to dive into the culture—visiting markets, traveling to rural areas, and even attending the opera. I loved our class discussions about development and human rights, business transactions, and comparative constitutional law. The experience inspired me to pursue a future career in international business.

The FAR team is glad to have been instrumental in establishing this opportunity for these students. Pooling donor gifts is just one way FAR helps donors structure gifts to maximize their impact. Gifts to higher education, and philanthropy in general, represent the best of our civic culture. It’s important to have someone on your side to help you carefully consider all the options—with all the available tools at your disposal. 


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The Fund for Academic Renewal is a program of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions to FAR are fully tax-deductible to the maximum extent provided by law.