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Kentucky college won't get $250 million gift

By Kevin Conlon, CNN
September 10, 2013 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Centre College was scheduled to get one the largest gifts in U.S. higher-education history
  • It would have more than doubled endowment and set up scholarships, school officials say
  • But now, school says it has stopped "discussions regarding the new scholarship program"
  • College says the gift was linked to "a significant capital market event" that didn't happen

(CNN) -- Centre College may be relatively unknown and small, but it just became a world-famous institution in big-time disappointment.

The Danville, Kentucky, liberal arts school made headlines in August after news that it was to receive one the largest gifts in U.S. higher-education history: $250 million.

"The gift by the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust is the largest outright gift ever to a liberal arts college," an August 1 press release said.

Large indeed: It would have more than doubled the school's current endowment of $240 million, school officials said.

"This magnificent gift establishing the Brockman Scholars Program marks a fundamental transformation in Centre College's ability to support students whose hard work, character, and intellect have demonstrated their potential for leadership," President John Roush said in the statement.

Oh, what a difference a month makes.

On Monday, the school announced on its website that it had discontinued "discussions regarding the new scholarship program."

In other words, the money was withdrawn, and with it, the wishes and dreams of the Brockman Scholars Program.

"I am deeply disappointed with this unanticipated development" Roush said in a statement.

On its website, the college said the major gift was linked to "a significant capital market event" that did not happen.

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