Bensons honored for Loyola scholarship donation - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Bensons honored for Loyola scholarship donation

New Orleans, La.-Students with financial need at Loyola University have more scholarship dollars available to them, thanks to Tom and Gayle Benson.

Loyola honored the Bensons Thursday night at its annual scholarship donor dinner.  The Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation recently pledged a total of $5 million in financial aid to the university, to be used for scholarship support for academically talented students with demonstrated financial needs.

Thanks to the gracious gift, scholarship recipient Annie Hills was able to transfer from Iowa to attend her last year of college in New Orleans.

"I'm really impressed at what they do and the students they turn out," said Mr. Benson.  "It's just a wonderful school and it was something me and my wife felt very strong about, and we think this thing will help that much further and we're very pleased to do it."

Hills said, "It's been very exciting.  I chose to transfer to Loyola because of this scholarship and so this is my first year at Loyola and it's given me the opportunity to try a lot of new things and experience all the things there are in New Orleans."

The Benson-endowed scholarship fund will be used to support Loyola sophomore or higher-grade students who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and who are in financial need.

"The $5 million gift will be distributed over five years and is divided into two parts -- $4 million to establish the Tom and Gayle Benson Endowed Scholarship Fund and $1 million for support of immediate-use scholarships," reads a news release from the university.  It notes that Tom Benson, who owns the Saints and Hornets as well as this television station, has pledged more than $14 million to Loyola since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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