The University of Notre Dame says a $20 million gift will fund a program to help low-income students attend the school. The donation from alum Sean Cullinan and his wife Sue will fund the Fighting Irish Initiative, which will fully fund the cost for select students to attend Notre Dame.
The school says the program will also include an enrichment program, designed to help students "get the most from their Notre Dame experience." That effort will include customized programs to help such students adjust to the college environment. It will also help with costs for technology, study abroad programs and trips home over breaks. The school will also hire a full-time director to oversee the programming and engage others to support the effort.
Notre Dame says financial aid has been a major focus of its fundraising for more than 25 years. In that time, it says university-based aid has increased from $5 million to more than $117 million.
Sean Cullinan graduated from Notre Dame in 1988 and works in the financial services industry. Two of his three children are students at the university.