$10 M. single-donor scholarship is largest in Rutgers history

Richard N. Weeks, a Class of 1950 alumnus, has committed $10 million to undergraduate engineering scholarships as the department’s largest donation ever and the largest single donor contribution received by Rutgers.
Photo by Rutgers.eduRichard N. Weeks, a Class of 1950 alumnus, has committed $10 million to undergraduate engineering scholarships as the department’s largest donation ever and the largest single donor contribution received by Rutgers.

Rutgers has received its largest single donor scholarship commitment of $10 million.

Richard N. Weeks, a Class of 1950 alumnus, will donate the money to support undergraduate scholarships at the Rutgers School of Engineering. It is the largest pledge to the School of Engineering in history and the largest gift in scholarship funds to the University, according to an article from myCentralJersey

During the 2017-2018 school year, Rutgers brought in nearly $223.4 million in donations, according to The Daily Targum. The University lags behind the Big Ten’s top earner, the University of Michigan, who, according to The Wall Street Journal, just reached its goal of $5 billion in donations.

“With this exceptional gift, Mr. Weeks has demonstrated his belief in the power of education to change lives forever,” said University President Robert L. Barchi. “Endowed scholarships help students pursue their dreams while incurring less debt, and help Rutgers attract and retain the finest students to the University.”

The Weeks Scholarship will further help the School of Engineering, which is known for successful partnerships across a range of industries and an internationally recognized faculty. It will also heighten its trajectory as a leader in innovative engineering research and education, according to the article.

Weeks runs his company Weeks Marine — a leading marine construction, dredging and tunneling firm — with operations across North America, according to the article. 

This is not the first time Weeks has donated to the University. In 2014, he donated $6 million for the recently opened Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering. He was also inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2017, in recognition of his contributions to engineering and business, according to the article. 

"Mr. Weeks’s generous gift illustrates how private philanthropy can have a transformative effect on Rutgers students, on the university’s communities and on society as a whole,” said Nevin E. Kessler, president of Rutgers University Foundation and executive vice president for Development and Alumni Relations. “The support of Rutgers’ alumni and friends enables the University to reach its highest aspirations of providing world-class education, research and public service.”