Matching Gifts Expand Support

Tulane University has received more than $200,000 in donations from Exxon Mobil Corp. as part of the ExxonMobil Foundation's 2009 Educational Matching Gift Program.

Shannon Jones, left, of the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives, thanks Randall Ebner of ExxonMobil for the company's support of Tulane programs in public high schools. (Photo by Guillermo Cabrera-Rojo)

Employees and retirees of ExxonMobil choose how their money is designated to the university, with financial gifts to various Tulane schools and programs. The company matches all donations by a ratio of 3 to 1. Despite the global economic crisis, Tulane received more than $50,000 in increased giving from ExxonMobil's employees and retirees this year.

"It is a privilege and an honor to present this check to Tulane," said Randall Ebner, ExxonMobil's assistant general counsel and a Tulane Law School graduate. "ExxonMobil, the foundation in particular, is very proud to be able to support higher education through our current employees and our retirees."

"Thank you for your friendship and for everything that ExxonMobil is doing for us," President Scott Cowen replied upon receiving the check in his office on Thursday (May 6). "ExxonMobil has been terrific, especially in terms of supporting our advanced placement training and incentive program."

In addition to the ExxonMobil matching gift program, the foundation also donated $1.6 million in 2008 to the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives to establish an advanced placement training and incentive program aimed at improving college readiness among high school students.

Through the program, the Cowen Institute is providing advanced placement classes in four public high schools in New Orleans over the next five years.

Shannon Jones, the Cowen Institute's executive director, also expressed her gratitude for ExxonMobil's continued generosity and for the close partnership with foundation president Gerald McElvy.

McElvy "isn't just interested in funding this effort. He is very much a partner," Jones said. "He has never taken a cookie-cutter approach, and he's very interested in figuring out how to make the program sustainable. ExxonMobil has always gone above and beyond for us."

Michael Ramos is a development writer in the Tulane Office of Development Research and Writing.