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Niagara University board chairman gives $5 million gift for scholarships

Niagara University board chairman gives $5 million gift for scholarships

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A 1978 Niagara University alumnus and his wife donated $5 million to his alma mater Monday, to be used for financial assistance for "talented and socially diverse students," the university announced.

The gift from Edward J. Brennan, who became chairman of the university's board of trustees in May, and his wife Deborah Brennan, will be used to support Lois Lyon Brennan Scholars, named for Edward Brennan's mother. They will be high-achieving students from underresourced areas, especially first-generation college students.

Edward Brennan

Edward J. Brennan was announced as chairman of the Niagara University Board of Trustees on May 13, 2021. 

A year after Brennan joined the NU board in 2015, he and Deborah funded the Edward A. Brennan Center for Language, Culture, and Leadership, which services international students at Niagara. The center is named for Brennan's father.

Monday's donation is the second-largest ever received by NU, trailing only the $10 million that former Buffalo Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano gave in 2008 to build a science center.

Brennan is the former chairman, president and CEO of Duty Free Shoppers Group. He led that company for 25 years, after 16 years at Macy's and Federated Department Stores.

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