ST. LOUIS — George and Melissa Paz have made a $4 million gift to support scholarships for University of Missouri — St. Louis students. Their gift is the largest single philanthropic donation in the school's history, officials said.
"My father was insistent that education was key to building better lives for ourselves and strongly encouraged us to get a college degree," Paz, who previously served as CEO of Express Scripts, said in a statement. "UMSL offered a quality, affordable education and flexibility so I could work and attend school — everything I needed to be successful. It was outstanding preparation for what I would experience in the business world."
Paz is currently in his second year of a three-year term as president of UMSL's Chancellor's Council. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting from UMSL in 1982.
"We are so thankful for George and Melissa's generosity on behalf of our students," UMSL Chancellor Kristin Sobolik said in a statement. "Because of them, even more people, including many from disadvantaged backgrounds, will get to experience the transformative power of a college education. They in turn will join the legions of UMSL graduates helping to shape the future of the St. Louis region and beyond."
Express Scripts has served as a primary benefactor for the university's Bridge Program's Saturday Academy — serving high school students across the region. The program also supports internships, academic programs, diversity initiatives and community betterment projects that have continued after Paz's tenure with the company ended, officials said.
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