Pittsburgh Promise Receives Largest-Ever Individual Gift

Dec 20, 2013

The Pittsburgh Promise has announced it has received its largest-ever individual gift.

Marty and Ann McGuinn have pledged $1 million to the scholarship fund.

“This money will support hundreds of kids in their pursuit for higher education after high school,” said Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril, “and will ensure the majority of them will be able to graduate from college or whatever post-secondary education they pursue, without debt.”

So far, the program has invested about $42 million in scholarships to support more than 4,600 high school graduates. Those students have enrolled in more than 100 different post-secondary public and private colleges and universities, career training companies, and vocational and trade programs in the state.

$80 million remains to be raised in the Promise’s $250 million goal. The hope is to involve as many organizations and individuals in that as possible.

“We have companies that support us to the tune of over $1 million, and then maybe 200 companies that support us at different levels under $1 million,” Ghubril said. “Now we’re adding to our focus an outreach to individuals of all capacities — major gifts as well as a broad, grassroots campaign.”

Marty McGuinn is the former chairman and CEO of Mellon Financial Corporation. He and Giant Eagle Executive Chairman David Shapira serve as co-chairs of the Promise’s institutional campaign which is aimed at regional corporations, foundations and their leaders.

Ghubril said eventually he’d like to see support coming from all levels, including families making small monthly donations.