Record College Gift Undone By Failed Business Deal

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Centre College, in Danville, Kentucky, said on Monday that a $250 million donation — more than the school’s entire endowment and what would have been the largest outright gift to a liberal arts college in history — was not to be.

The donation from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust was announced in July and was intended to create 160 scholarships. But the school neglected to mention that the funds were contingent on a business deal that had not yet been completed.

Texas businessman Robert T. Brockman, CEO of Reynolds & Reynolds and a Centre College alumnus, is linked to the trust. His company, which provides software and services to car dealers, was planning to distribute proceeds from a $3.4 billion loan deal to shareholders, but that deal never happened. A company spokesperson confirmed to the New York Times’s Dealbook business blog that, as a result, no funds were available for the gift.

“In retrospect, we might have put a big asterisk on this thing, but no one had any inkling that this would come about,” John Roush, the president of Centre College, told the New York Times.

[New York Times]