To encourage young alumni to give back to their alma mater, Cornell trustee Martin Tang '70 has established the M.A.R.T.I.N. (My Annual Fund Reason to Invest Now) Challenge, in which new gifts will be matched by Tang.
For every person who graduated from Cornell in the last 10 years and who makes a gift to Cornell, Tang will give $25 toward the Cornell Annual Fund for undergraduate scholarships. If a donor commits to a multiyear gift, Tang will give $50.
"I believe that all of us have gained immeasurably from our education at Cornell, and if we want to maintain the excellence and pre-eminence of Cornell, we need to give back to the university," said Tang in a video clip produced by Alumni Affairs and Development.
The challenge comes on the heels of Cornell's revamped financial aid program, in which students from families making up to $60,000 will have their loans replaced with grants and scholarships. It also comes in a year when the endowment has declined in value, making the Annual Fund critical to fill the gap for financial aid.
Tang, a trustee since 1994, is the retired chairman of Spencer Stuart Asia, an international executive search firm, and he is director of MTDD Ltd. in Hong Kong. He graduated from Cornell with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.
Tang has also worked to inspire current students to give by issuing a challenge to the 2009 Senior Class Campaign. For each senior who gives $5 or more to the Annual Fund, he will give an additional $25 to the Class of 2009 Stephen H. Weiss Memorial Scholarships. To date, the class has raised more than $30,500 in challenge money for the scholarship.
Last year Tang created the Martin Y. Tang International Scholarship Challenge, in which he pledged support for international student scholarships by matching cash gifts and commitments of $750,000 or more on a $1 to $3 basis. The goal is to create 12 scholarship endowments of $1 million each.
For more information on the M.A.R.T.I.N. Challenge, visit http://www.alumni.cornell.edu/fund/martin/.