The largest single gift in the university’s history supports recently launched capital campaign

University of Puget Sound President Ronald R. Thomas announced today that Dr. Gwendolyn H. Lillis P’05 and Dr. Charles M. Lillis P’05 of Castle Rock, Colo., have made an $8 million gift to the university’s recently launched capital campaign. The gift, made through the Lillis Foundation, places the Lillis family among the $125 million campaign’s lead donors, and brings the amount raised so far to $74 million—a total which includes three anonymously donated gifts of $5 million or more each.

“With this remarkable gift, Gwen and Chuck have established one of the university’s largest endowed financial aid funds,” said President Thomas. “Lillis Scholars are among the most academically talented and promising students enrolled at Puget Sound, and are a tremendous asset to the campus community. We are deeply grateful to Gwen and Chuck for their commitment to attracting and supporting some of the country’s top scholars at Puget Sound.”

The Lillis gift provides an endowment to support in perpetuity the Lillis Scholars Program, established in 2007. Lillis Scholars are recognized by Puget Sound for their academic excellence, passionate interest in ideas, and intellectual independence. The university identifies 30 candidates from each year’s applicant pool and awards Lillis Scholarships to two members of each incoming class.  Scholarships cover full tuition, room, and board, and are renewable for a total of four years.

“We established this scholarship program because we believe in the Puget Sound liberal arts experience and want to make that experience available to highly talented students,” said Gwen Lillis. “We are impressed by the intelligence, creativity, and commitment of the Lillis Scholars we have funded, and the ways in which they have made the most of the opportunity to attend Puget Sound. Chuck and I are very pleased to be able to endow the scholarship on a permanent basis and to help this outstanding educational community continue to attract the best and the brightest.”

Gwen Lillis is a Puget Sound trustee and chair of the Lillis Foundation. She and Charles Lillis, former chair and CEO of broadband cable pioneer MediaOne Group and founding partner of Lone Tree Capital, are the parents of Puget Sound alumna Jessica L. Isaacs ’05.

The $125 million capital campaign, announced on Oct. 29, 2011, is the most ambitious in Puget Sound’s 123-year history, and the first under President Thomas, who joined the college in July 2003. The campaign will support critical programs and contribute to the ongoing success of Puget Sound students and alumni by endowing faculty positions in innovative, interdisciplinary programs; building new facilities for learning and research; expanding scholarships for students and support for faculty members; and affirming Puget Sound’s commitment to the community through initiatives dedicated to stimulating progress in the region.

More information about the Lillis Scholar Program:

More information about the capital campaign:

Photos of Gwen and Charles Lillis P'05 are available for download at:

Photos on page: Top right: Gwen and Charles Lillis P'05; Above left; the color post in Karlen Square, with Collins Memorial Library behind.

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