Loews Corporation’s Education Scholarships
When Andrew Tisch talks about the Loews Corporation’s Scholarship Program, he breaks into a broad smile. The Loews Scholarship program, overseen by Tisch, who serves as Co-Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Executive Committee of this major New York City-based conglomerate, is one of the oldest, most consistent and prestigious education assistance programs in the country. The program makes it possible for deserving youngsters who would otherwise lack the opportunity, to attend a good college.
Of course, there are scholarships, and there are Loews scholarships. What distinguishes awards supported by Loews? (1) Design and administration, (2) longevity, (3) size of award, and (4) exemplary status.
Loews forged a relationship early on with the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which administers the awards program. The organization identifies recipients on the basis of “test scores, academic record, leadership, significant extracurricular accomplishments, and other standard requirements of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.” Merit sets the criteria. But Tisch ensures that funding keeps up with the times.
The Loews Merit Scholarships have been around since 1962, and though the program started with two awardees, it now has kept constant with five. Winners tend to come from high-achieving high schools, such as Stuyvesant High School and Bronx Science, but it should be noted that Loews added two additional awards. Besides the Loews Merit Scholarship Awards, there is the Achievement Scholarship program (added in 1969) for underrepresented minorities, mainly African Americans, in New York, and not open to Loews’s family members. There are also the Loews Special Scholarship Awards for the children of Loews employees who need not attain the achievement level required by the Merit awards.
The Loews awards were started by Laurence and Preston Robert Tisch. “I was only in the seventh grade when the awards were instituted,” Andrew Tisch pointed out, “yet the program represents an ongoing tradition of community service that we at Loews Corporation continue today.” He added, “We believe that companies should make an effort to serve local communities and enhance leadership and social issue opportunities for deserving youngsters.”
Tisch is delighted when he hears how former scholarship recipients are doing. “Several Achievement Scholarship students are children of people in our New York office,” he noted. “I was pleased that we were able to find a place for our last year’s Achievement (non-employee related) Scholarship winner as an intern in our Investment Department.”
An important feature of two of Loews’s awards is that they are available to everyone and anyone who works in the corporation, across the country, no matter what the job—hotel staff, elevator operators, waiters, etc. The Achievement Awards, on the other hand, are restricted to youngsters in New York City who are children of Loews employees.
Tisch is more than delighted to be a part of this philanthropic enterprise. He is, he says, genuinely “gratified” that he is helping kids get an opportunity to go to college. Each May, when the awards are given out, he meets the winners and their parents, a truly “rewarding” moment. While most youngsters opt for private colleges, usually the Ivies, in fact, there is no restriction on where students go. A number of winners, he recalls, have elected to attend public universities.
Tisch, a graduate of Cornell who holds an M.B.A. from Harvard, is personally generous to his undergraduate alma mater. He and his wife not too long ago made a major donation to Cornell to allow the university to honor and retain current faculty members and recruit the most talented young scholars and researchers from around the world. He is also active in Jewish communal affairs, and of course, who has not heard of the outstanding NYU Tisch School of the Arts, of which he is Co-Chair of the Dean’s Council.
Married to journalist Ann Rubenstein, he supported his wife as she created the innovative all-girls public Young Women’s Leadership School in East Harlem in 1996 (there are now eight such schools in the city and across the country); she also created the college guidance program—the now ten-year old CollegeBound initiative, a remarkable program for inner-city public high school students that assists students with their applications for admission and scholarships.
Loews Corporation, led by Jim, Andrew and Jonathan Tisch, who comprise the Office of the President, supports many programs that benefit the community. The Tisches are that rare breed: active, personally involved philanthropists, who generously contribute time and advice and not just resources.#