Refugee Students Will Benefit from $1.2 Million Alumni Gift to Pomona College

Endowed Scholarship Honors Jewish Parents Who Left Hitler’s Germany

Claremont, Calif., Dec. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Student refugees from global trouble spots will receive a financial helping hand to attend Pomona College, thanks to a $1.2 million gift from alumnus and trustee Paul Eckstein and his wife, Florence. The scholarship will honor Paul’s parents, Liese and Albert Eckstein, who left Germany as Hitler consolidated power in 1936.

Whether they are displaced by war, political upheaval or natural disaster, the Dr. Albert Eckstein and Liese Bendheim Eckstein Scholarship at Pomona College will help students fleeing crises across the globe by providing them with the opportunity to continue their undergraduate education. The fund will support students with financial need who are currently refugees or who have experienced refugee status during their lives or within their own families.

“Our hope is that the students who receive this scholarship in my parents’ names will use their Pomona education to make a difference in their communities and chosen fields,” says Paul. “This is our small thumb on the scale to help them achieve the American Dream and hopefully change all sorts of lives for the better.”

“We are grateful to Paul and Flo for their longstanding commitment to and support of Pomona College,” says President Gabrielle Starr. “This extraordinary act of generosity in honor of Paul’s parents will impact the lives of generations to come and support students how and when they need it most.”   

After graduating from Pomona College in 1962, Paul went on to Harvard Law School. He is a partner with Perkins Coie in the Phoenix office, continuing his 57-year career as a trial and appellate lawyer. 

Paul says his father often spoke about how the Holocaust resulted not only in an enormous loss of life, but also in the destruction of so much DNA that could have shaped future generations. It caused him to mourn what could have been.

Through the scholarship, the Ecksteins hope to aid refugee students in building a brighter future. “Who knows if they will be Nobel Prize winners, great senators or wonderful writers or musicians?” Paul says. “I like to dream and think this gift will in some way help facilitate that.”

About Pomona College

One of the world’s premier liberal arts colleges, Pomona is known for small classes, a challenging curriculum, and a range of student research opportunities. Located in Claremont, California, Pomona has been named by The New York Times one of the top 10 colleges “doing the most for the American dream.”


CONTACT: Patricia Vest Pomona College (909) 621-8503 [email protected] 

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