February 21, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Arthur W. Koenig ’66 has pledged $6 million to Amherst College over the next six years to create the Koenig Scholarship Fund, a program that the philanthropist calls an investment: it will bring talented low-income students from Latin America and Africa to Amherst, provide academic support for them at the college and sponsor annual recruitment trips from the college to those regions.

The Koenig Scholarship Fund will designate five Koenig Scholars each year, paying particular attention to the most talented and needy students from these continents. Koenig hopes not only that the scholarship recipients will succeed, both at Amherst and in their lives, but also “that the students and staff at Amherst are influenced by these students.” Inspiring Koenig’s gift, in part, was a faculty recommendation to increase the number of international students on campus, and to extend its need-blind financial aid policies to those students.

After studying political science at Amherst, Koenig went on to get a master’s degree in international affairs and finance at Columbia University in 1970. For more than 17 years, he worked for Duferco, the international steel trade concern, in New York City and Portugal. He was based in Rome from 2002 to 2006. Recently retired and living in London, Koenig now serves as a mentor to Amherst College students and alumni through the college’s Career Network. Having lived abroad for many years, Koenig has seen the pressing need for bright young people in developing nations to gain access to education, and is delighted to be able to offer some the opportunity for a top-notch liberal arts experience at Amherst.

Founded in 1821 for “the education of indigent young men of piety and talents,” Amherst College is now widely regarded as the premier liberal arts college in the nation, enrolling a diverse group of approximately 1,600 young men and women. Well known for its academic excellence, Amherst is also consistently ranked among the very best schools in the country in terms of accessibility: The college’s financial aid packages are consistently the most generous in the U.S., and among its peer universities and colleges Amherst has the greatest economic diversity. Diversity, in its broadest sense, is fundamental to Amherst’s mission. The college enrolls students from every state and more than 40 countries, and for the past several years more than 35 percent of Amherst’s students have been students of color. Amherst offers the B.A. degree in 33 fields of study.