BlogThe Hershey School Endowment: A Legacy of Philanthropy and Education

The Hershey School Endowment: A Legacy of Philanthropy and Education

Milton Hershey School, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is a renowned private boarding school for children from low-income families. What sets it apart is its unique history and funding model, which is supported by the Hershey School Endowment. In this article, we will delve into the history and significance of the endowment, its impact on the school and its students, and its enduring legacy.
A Brief History
Milton Hershey, the founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, and his wife Catherine established the school in 1909 as an orphanage for boys. After Catherine’s passing in 1915, Milton Hershey transferred his entire fortune, including the chocolate company, to the school, creating the Hershey Trust Company. This trust was designed to manage the school’s assets and ensure its continued operation.
The Endowment
The Hershey School Endowment is a $17 billion fund that supports the school’s operations, student financial aid, and capital projects. It is one of the largest endowments in the United States, and its investment returns provide the majority of the school’s annual budget. The endowment’s growth and management have enabled the school to remain tuition-free for its students, providing a unique opportunity for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to receive a quality education.
Impact on the School and Students
The Hershey School Endowment has a profound impact on the school and its students. It enables the school to:
  • Provide a free education to over 2,000 students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade
  • Offer a comprehensive curriculum, including arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities
  • Support students’ basic needs, including housing, meals, and healthcare
  • Fund capital projects, such as new buildings and infrastructure upgrades
The endowment also allows the school to attract and retain top faculty and staff, providing students with a supportive and experienced educational team.
Legacy and Philanthropy
The Hershey School Endowment is a testament to Milton Hershey’s philanthropic vision and commitment to education. His legacy extends beyond the school, as the endowment’s investment returns also support other charitable initiatives in the community. The Hershey Trust Company has donated millions of dollars to local organizations and causes, perpetuating Milton Hershey’s generosity and community spirit.
The Hershey School Endowment is a remarkable example of philanthropy and educational excellence. Its history, impact, and legacy serve as a reminder of the power of giving and the importance of investing in the next generation. As a symbol of Milton Hershey’s enduring legacy, the endowment continues to inspire and support generations of students, ensuring that they have access to a quality education and a brighter future.
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