ETF Securities founder and chairman Graham Tuckwell has donated $50 million toward the education of Australian university students.
Tuckwell and his wife Louise made the donation to the Australian National University to fund undergraduate scholarships, The Australian reported Tuesday.
Dubbed the Tuckwell Scholarship program, it is the largest donation ever made to Australian university students, The Telegraph reports.
The Australian National University is Tuckwell’s alma mater.
The program will operate from 2014, paying $20,000 annually to 25 starting undergraduates each year for up to five years, according to The Australian story.
“Twenty-five undergraduates will score scholarships worth up to $100,000 each over the next five years – creating 125 scholarships all up over that time,” Perth Now reports. “The scholarships are set to run in perpetuity over the next 20 years.”
Tuckwell said he wanted to change lives and did not think it was sensible for parents to give vast amounts of money to their own children.
“Lots of money is poisonous to have … And if they create things themselves, then it’s a sense of achievement. Where as if you just give them stuff, it almost destroys their desire to do things and you actually end up with kids that are a lot worse off,” he said in the report.
“Generally speaking, if you look at the people in Australia that have got huge amounts of wealth, without naming any, they generally have not put the majority of their wealth behind strong philanthropic causes,” Tuckwell added. “And unfortunately in some cases they pass the wealth down to later generations who have behaved badly. And I think that’s a really bad example.”
ETF Securities is a global firm best known for its lineup of commodity exchange traded products. ETF Securities saw its global assets under management rise over 22% between January and November 2012 to reach $30.2 billion. The firm offers more than 200 exchange traded products. It listed the world’s first physical gold ETF in Australia and London in 2003.