Chan Zuckerberg Donates $12.1 Million for Public Service

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO and Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Commencement exercises in May 2017.
UPDATED: November 13, 2017 at 2:29 p.m.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative—the $45 billion philanthropic organization founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan ’07—is giving $12.1 million to help low-income students engage in public service, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana announced Monday.

The grant will last for 15 years and provide financial assistance for up to 2,300 Harvard students who want to participate in public service programs run by the Phillips Brooks House Center for Public Service and Engaged Scholarship, which coordinates community service efforts at the College.

“It’s my hope this gift will give many more students the ability to choose service that will inspire their passion and build their skills as the next generation of public service leaders,” Chan said in an interview with the Harvard Gazette.

The grant will be split into two primary parts: one, the Priscilla Chan Summer Service Award, will cover the summer earnings contribution for students who choose to spend the summer working for either the Center for Public Interest Careers, the Institute of Politics, or the Phillips Brooks House Association—a student-run community service group. The second portion, the Priscilla Chan Stride Service Program, will go towards helping the Phillips Brooks House Association provide year-round community service fellowships for low-income students.

In an email to students Monday, Khurana also said the grant will provide “bridge funding” for several of the College’s ongoing efforts to grow public service at Harvard.

In interviews with the University-run Gazette and emailed announcements, Harvard administrators praised the gift.

“This generous gift will provide opportunities for even more of Harvard’s remarkable and committed undergraduates to follow Priscilla’s example of community service while at the College,” University President Drew G. Faust said in an interview with the Gazette.

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