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American Indian College Fund receives donations

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DENVER – The American Indian College Fund received a gift of more than $11,000 from the Boise, Idaho-based Ben Plucknett Charitable Trust and through a donation of $20,000, the Morgan Stanley Foundation is continuing its partnership with the fund to support American Indian education.

Jan DeRoin, Mr. Plucknett’s sister and a trustee of the trust, said it was established by her mother in honor of her son, who predeceased her by one year. Mrs. Plucknett worked with DeRoin to choose a donor who helped meet educational needs in the American Indian community, particularly on reservations.

“Ben was very interested in American Indian culture, and although he was not Native American, he had many Native American friends. He was also interested in education and health care,” DeRoin said. Her mother wanted the beneficiary of the trust to be an American Indian organization because of Mr. Plucknett’s friends and interests, and DeRoin and the other trustees chose the fund because of its educational focus and “the fund has a high rating as a charitable organization, is run by American Indians, and its administrative costs are low so the maximum benefits go to American Indians.”

The gift was added to the Bea Arthur Scholarship Fund established this year because of its matching gift provision, said Chris Ode, the manager of the trust and wealth management director at Wells Fargo Private Bank.

AICF supports qualified American Indian scholars by providing financial support to encourage them to remain in college and complete a college degree. “Individuals like the Plucknetts are providing gifts that serve as an amazing legacy to them. They are helping American Indians to achieve an education, thereby providing hope to American Indians, their families, and communities that will endure for generations,” said Richard B. Williams, president and CEO of the fund.

The Morgan Stanley Foundation Tribal Scholars Program provides much-needed financial assistance to American Indian students pursuing degrees in business or business-related programs who have an interest in the financial services industry at tribal colleges and mainstream institutions.

“The American Indian College Fund’s dedication to helping American Indians reach their potential through education is unequaled,” said Joan Steinberg, global head of philanthropy at Morgan Stanley. “We are proud that through our decade of support and the organization’s own hard work, more than 200 American Indian students have received assistance in their pursuit of higher education.”

“For 10 years, the Morgan Stanley Foundation has consistently supported American Indian business students’ pursuit of education,” Williams said. “We are proud of this partnership and of the Morgan Stanley Foundation’s eagerness to help many more American Indian students pursue their dreams of a career in the financial services industry.”