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The Karsh Family Foundation Supports New Scholarships to Help KIPP Students Succeed at Spelman College Share a Spelman College Press Release


Jazmyn Burton
Spelman College
 Screen Shot 2021-07-26 at 5.17.14 PM
ATLANTA (July 26, 2021) With the support of the Karsh Family Foundation, students from KIPP, a nationwide network of open enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools, will have a direct pipeline to Spelman College. 
Developed to increase the number of first-generation college students who graduate from Spelman with minimal loan debt, The Karsh KIPP II Scholarship Endowed Fund, will provide $4 million to support endowed and current scholarship initiatives.
“As a partner institution and collaborators with the KIPP College Partnership Program, Spelman is committed to identifying strategies that help close the access  gap for high performing, high need students,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman, the No.1 HBCU in the nation. “We are grateful to the Karsh family for their continued support, which has been critical to delivering the Spelman promise of preparing students for life and career by ensuring that deserving students are supported in college and graduate with a competitive edge.”
The Karsh Family Foundation gave its first gift to Spelman in 2012. In 2018, Spelman received a $2 million gift from the Foundation to fund annual and endowed scholarships to support KIPP graduates.
Through generous gifts from Martha and Bruce Karsh, co-founders of the Foundation, Spelman has been able to make education more affordable and expand the number of high-achieving scholars the College is able to support. 

"Spelman is a powerhouse and storied institution with many distinguished alumni and led by visionary President Mary Schmidt Campbell," said Martha Karsh. "It offers everything that our top KIPPster women could want: unparalleled academics, an intimate campus, a long line of talented, inspiring and successful alums and a joyful, uplifting approach to higher education. It is truly our honor to partner with Spelman."
The KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) began in 1994 with 47 fifth graders within a public middle school in Houston, Texas. The following year, two new public charter middle schools began in Houston and New York City. By 1999, these original KIPP schools were among the highest-performing schools in their respective communities. 
The first new KIPP middle schools opened as public charter schools in 2001. In 2004, KIPP opened its first elementary and high schools, which paved the way for KIPP to become a full Pre-K-12 school system. In 2005, Richard Barth became the CEO of the KIPP Foundation and helped develop the regional growth model for KIPP’s expansion. All KIPP schools are locally-run, non-profit organizations and are governed by a board of directors.
To qualify, students must have completed eighth grade at a KIPP middle school or be a KIPP student who is expected to graduate from a KIPP high school.
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 14th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit Spelman College.

About the Karsh Family Foundation  

Founded in 1998 by Bruce A. Karsh, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, and his wife, Martha L. Karsh, attorney, designer and writer, the Karsh Family Foundation focuses its philanthropy on education, community health and social welfare, and the promotion and strengthening of our democracy. To date, the Foundation has made grants and pledges of over $300 million, with an emphasis on educational equity and opportunity in their support of financial aid and high-quality public schools for underserved communities.
Among their largest grantees are KIPP Public Schools and KIPP Foundation, Teach for America, Duke University, University of Virginia Law School, University of Pennsylvania, Howard University, Spelman College, UNCF, Wilshire Boulevard Temple-Karsh Social Service Center, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and the Karsh Institute of Democracy at the University of Virginia.

About KIPP
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of 255 public charter schools that are dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Started in 1994 as a middle school program, KIPP has since expanded to enroll students in all grades from pre-K through high school.


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