Federal Eye: New multimillion-dollar scholarship to fund federal careers

Heirs to a supermarket fortune will launch a multimillion-dollar scholarship foundation on Tuesday designed to encourage college
graduate students to pursue federal government careers in national
security, foreign policy and international development.

The Robertson Foundation for Government plans eventually to provide full financial support to hundreds of graduate students in those fields
who agree to complete at least three years of service with a federal
agency within five years of graduation.

“We are very serious about the mission of getting these people to work for the government,” said foundation director Bill Robertson. His mother, Marie Robertson, donated $35 million worth of stock in the A&P supermarket company in 1961 to Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Her heirs sued Princeton in 2002, arguing the university had diverted her original donation from its stated purpose of preparing
college students for public service.

The suit was settled last year after a prolonged legal battle closely watched by universities, nonprofits and donors increasingly eager to keep close tabs on their donations. Terms of the settlement require Princeton to pay approximately $60 million in payments and interest to the foundation by 2018.

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