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Carnegie Mellon gets $5 million gift from Posner family |

Carnegie Mellon gets $5 million gift from Posner family

| Friday, February 19, 2016 11:33 a.m

A day after settling a patent infringement suit for $750 million, Carnegie Mellon University added $5 million to its Presidential Scholarship Fund, courtesy of a gift in memory of the late Henry Posner Jr. and his wife, Helen.

CMU officials said the gift from CMU trustee Anne Molloy and her husband, railroad entrepreneur Henry Posner III of Pittsburgh, will underwrite a minimum of five undergraduate scholarships a year at the Oakland school.

University officials said the gift adds to CMU’s growing Presidential Fellowships and Scholarships program. A school spokesman said the value of related endowment funds and commitments to the scholarships, which recognize a student’s outstanding academic success and potential, now totals more than $156 million and supports more than 145 students.

Henry Posner Jr., a research chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project, taught at the University of Pittsburgh and later became a successful businessman, was a longstanding CMU trustee and board member. His wife, Helen, was instrumental in selecting CMU’s library to hold the family’s personal collection of rare books and artifacts. The family’s support helped underwrite the establishment of the Posner Center on CMU’s Oakland campus in 2004.

Molloy credited CMU President Subra Suresh with making expansion of the scholarships a top priority.

“It’s an area in which the university really needs to grow. And in our minds, it is one of the best things we could do to get the best student body possible at the university. Not everyone can afford to attend Carnegie Mellon or any private university, and we want to attract a diverse group of students and the very best group of students,” Molloy said.

“It was a matter of great personal pride to my father to see Carnegie Mellon’s growth from a regional institution to a global institution that just happens to be in Pittsburgh,” Henry Posner III said. “The global footprint of CMU is beginning to be acknowledged worldwide. I’ve met a number of people overseas who are CMU graduates. That didn’t used to be the case.”

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or

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