Thursday, January 1, 2009
Former Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island died at the age of 90 yesterday, January 1, 2009, at his home in Rhode Island. Senator Pell was the creator and force behind the Pell College Grant Program, which became law in 1972 as the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant Program, and was named after him in 1980 ("Pell Grants"). The Pell College Grant enabled many low- and middle-income class students to attend college over the years (and still does). (See article here). We have blogged on numerous occasions in 2008 about the pressure applied by Iowa Senator Charles Grassley on Ivy-league institutions with significant endowments. Many of these institutions responded by offering reduced or free tuition to low- and middle-income class students. Not all institutions followed suit. The Pell College Grant continues to be an important source of funds for these students who want to attend college.
A lesser known fact is that Senator Pell "also shared a strong interest in the arts, and was chief Senate sponsor of a 1965 law establishing the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities."
For the full story, please click here