Aussie entrepreneur donates $50m to ANU

An investment company founder has donated $50 million to the Australian National University, the largest single such donation by an Australian citizen.

Former economics student Graham Tuckwell and his wife Louise have donated the money to fund a scholarship program.

A total of 25 undergraduate scholarships worth $20,000 will be awarded annually for up to five years, to cover accommodation and living costs.

Mr Tuckwell, who has a law and economics degree from ANU, is the founder of ETF Securities, a group of companies providing exchange traded funds (ETFs).

He says he wants to give back to the university which helped establish his business career.

"We're a passionate believer that the thing that can really make a difference in a person's life is education," he said.

"Give a man a fish you feed them for a day, teach them how to fish and they feed themselves for a lifetime, and that's why we chose education.

"Our university experience was life-transforming.

We would like to give that opportunity to other young Australians," he added.

"The gift was given with the intention of enabling highly talented and motivated students to fulfil their potential and reinvest their knowledge, skills and experience in ways that positively benefit others." ANU vice-chancellor Professor Ian Young says the university is committed to delivering on the Tuckwells' vision.

"When Graham and Louise first suggested the possibility of a donation like this to support such a tremendous scholarship program, I was enormously impressed by their vision," he said.

"The Tuckwell Scholarships will allow us to attract the best and brightest students from right across the country, who want to give back in a whole range of ways." Professor Young said the donation may also prove to be transformative for philanthropy in Australia.

"One of the important results of the Tuckwell donation will be to set an example of what people who have succeeded in business or other activities can do," he said.

"I'm very hopeful that this will act as a catalyst for other philanthropists to make similar donations to Australian universities."

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