Roosevelt University will receive a $25 million gift -- the largest in the school's history -- to fund scholarships for students at its Schaumburg and Chicago campuses.
The university on Monday announced the donation from the estates of Rosaline Cohn, a Chicago philanthropist, and her daughter, Marcia Cohn, who died last year. Rosaline Cohn died in 2010.
Terms of the donation will allow the school to award about $1.2 million in scholarships annually. The university has not determined criteria nor individual amounts for scholarships, university spokeswoman Laura Janota said.
Patricia Harris, chairwoman of the university's board of trustees, said the gift will strengthen the school's endowment and help deserving students achieve a first-rate education.
"We are overwhelmed with the size and generosity of this gift and are extremely grateful to Mrs. Cohn for her thoughtfulness and devotion to Roosevelt University," Harris said.
The Cohn family, which established the successful Continental Coffee Co. a century ago, has been a longtime supporter of the university. Rosaline Cohn's husband, Jacob Cohn, who started the coffee business, became one of the first contributors to the university, when he donated $200 three months after the school opened in 1945.
Rosaline Cohn wrote a letter to the university's president in 1984, explaining her ambition to donate to higher education.
"I am interested in people, rather than causes," the letter reads. "I would like to contribute to the areas of education and science which help to improve the quality of life for the younger and older generations -- not in the abstract -- but in a positive and practical way."
The previous largest gift was $5 million in 2002 from Florence Miner, an alumna of the university.