$4M Estate Gift to Benefit UC’s College of Arts and Sciences

The gift, from Magda and Milton Margolis, will create a college-based honors program and support scholarships, faculty, research and diversity initiatives


CINCINNATI – September 9, 2015 – A $4 million gift from the estate of Magda Margolis has established the Magda and Milton Margolis Fund for Arts and Sciences within the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. The gift will create a new Honors Scholars Program in addition to benefiting scholarships, faculty, research and diversity initiatives. Approximately $500,000 will support faculty recruitment with competitive compensation and start-up offers.

“This incredibly generous gift from the late Magda Margolis will create both immediate and long-term impact for our students, faculty and programs,” said Ken Petren, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The Margolis fund will provide the college with a permanent source of flexible support, giving academic leaders like me the ability to respond to opportunities and challenges now and in the future. I am extremely grateful to have received such a gift at the beginning of my tenure when it can be leveraged to jump-start several very important initiatives.”

The new Honors Scholars Program will be designed to attract the very best students from across the nation – those who exhibit a high degree of academic performance, intellectual curiosity, creative thinking, leadership and a commitment to service. These talented students will engage in a rigorous program of liberal arts scholarship and receive four-year renewable full tuition awards as well as dedicated funding to support study abroad experiences, internships and independent research.

“I’m excited about the impact this major gift will have on the ability of our university’s oldest and largest college to recruit the best and brightest students to Ohio,” said UC President Santa Ono. “The College of Arts and Sciences serves more than 8,000 students and boasts 500 faculty members, and this gift is sure to benefit a large number of them through scholarships, fellowships, research funding and more.”

In addition to funding the new Honors Scholars Program, the gift will provide seed funding and supplemental support to faculty whose research is innovative and interdisciplinary and has the ability to attract external grants. It will also incentivize faculty to deliver course content in creative ways that increase student engagement and knowledge retention. Finally, the gift will support programmatic investments and travel needed to recruit and retain students and faculty from underrepresented groups.

About the Donor

The gift comes from the estate of Magda (Lippner) Margolis, who escaped from communist Czechoslovakia in 1954 and eventually ended up in New York. There, she met the late Milton Margolis on a blind date and the two were later married in 1964.

Milton, the vice-chairman of Host Apparel and 1939 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, was by all accounts an incredible businessman and philanthropist. He was known throughout the industry for his genial manner, and his specialties were in sales, marketing and public relations.


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