The donation came from Karin L. Larson, a trailblazing investment manager.
The gift has funded an endowment, which paid out its first $250,000 in scholarships this fall to more than 80 students. Officials still are figuring out what to do with additional ongoing income from the endowment.
“CCAPS is exploring ideas to create flexible educational pathways for more students and to provide financial, academic and personalized support to help them succeed,” the college said in a news release.
The gift is a record for the college, which offers a variety of degrees, certificates and training geared toward people already in the workforce. Larson earned a self-designed degree from the college in 1961 in international relations and business.
She went on to work as a secretary for the Capital Group, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, which promoted her to become an analyst, portfolio manager and research director.
Over the years, she quietly gave money to Minnesota Public Radio, the American Swedish Institute and Bethel University, among others. Earlier donations to the U went toward scholarships, career assessment and advising for students in the college’s interdisciplinary degree programs.
“Our system-wide strategic plan, MPact 2025, specifically commits to increasing financial aid and reducing student debt,” U President Joan Gabel said. “This extraordinary contribution provides meaningful support to achieving those goals and, most importantly, will change the lives of so many students.”