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Maguire Foundation Gives Widener $1.25 Million for Scholarships

Mr. and Mrs. James J. Maguire, co-principals of the Maguire Foundation.

Widener University has received a $1.25 million matching gift from The Maguire Foundation to establish the Maguire Scholars Fund for student scholarships, the university announced. As a matching gift, the university will contribute an equal amount to the fund over the next five years creating a $2.5 million endowed fund.

Beginning this fall, the university will name three to five Maguire Scholars, freshmen who will receive scholarships in the range of $5,000 to $8,000 renewable each year for four years providing students continue to meet qualifications.

To be eligible, students must maintain good grades, demonstrate family need and have a commitment to community service. They must also be graduates of Maguire Scholars participating high schools in the Philadelphia area.

Widener University President James T. Harris III said it is the largest scholarship gift to Taking the Lead – the Campaign for Widener, the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign which ends in December.

“The Maguire Foundation and Widener University have very similar goals – to help students achieve their academic potential and to develop their passion for community service and civic engagement,” Harris said. “We are very grateful to the Maguire Foundation for their generous gift and look forward to working with them to reach our common goals.”

James and Frances Maguire of Chestnut Hill, Pa. are co-principles of The Maguire Foundation, a philanthropic enterprise that primarily focuses its resources on education. Scholarships created through gifts from the foundation help more than 750 students to attend private elementary and secondary schools each year.

“Our family and our foundation have always been committed to investing time, talent and treasure in the success of others,” said James J. Maguire, the founder and chairman emeritus of insurance industry leader Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp. “Through our new partnership with Widener University, we will be helping students to discover their full potential for service and achievement.”

Last year, Widener was selected as a Presidential Award Finalist for the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. In recent years, Newsweek and Washington Monthly ranked Widener among the top service-minded colleges and universities in the nation. In addition, Widener was among the first universities in the nation to be categorized as a “community engagement” institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2006.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free university. Visit the university website,