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Tolls' $10 Million for Public Service at Law School

Robert Toll

Robert Toll L ’66, Chairman and CEO of Toll Brothers, Inc., and his wife, Jane, have made one of the largest gifts in Penn Law history: $10 million in support of aspiring students and young alumni who wish to pursue careers in public interest law.

The Tolls have devoted $5 million to establish the Toll Public Interest Scholars Program and $5 million to help graduates pay off their law school debt. The scholars program, which begins next fall, will help fund full scholarships in the first year and two-thirds scholarships in the second and third years.

In addition, the Tolls’ gift will help underwrite an expansion in the Public Interest Loan Repayment Assistance Program. PILRAP provides loan forgiveness for up to 10 years after graduation. This academic year, Penn Law raised the amount of financial aid available through the program so as to increase the number of students eligible for the loan forgiveness and to expand the level of support for those in the program.   

“We desperately need more young lawyers to take on society’s challenges,” said Law Dean Michael A. Fitts. “But for too long the path to public service has been impeded by financial obstacles. Fortunately, Bob Toll has removed some of those barriers for years to come, and we are in his debt.”  

This gift reflects the Tolls’ longtime support of education. In 1991, in honor of his parents, Robert Toll established the Albert and Sylvia Toll Scholarship Fund at Penn Law School. A year earlier, Mr. and Mrs. Toll contributed to the Say Yes to Education Program at GSE, offering to pay for college for third graders at the Harrity Elementary School in West Philadelphia who graduate from high school.

Mr. Toll, whose daughter, Rachel, graduated from Penn Law in 2003, has served on the board of overseers for more than a decade and is a frequent auctioneer for the Equal Justice Foundation, which awards grants to students who want to work during the summer for nonprofit organizations.

“The Law School has given me more than any other institution,” Mr. Toll said. “I thought the education and experience so fabulous that I want to give back especially so others who might not have had the chance can enjoy what I got.”

Also active in the greater community, Mr. and Mrs. Toll are directors of Seeds of Peace, a conflict resolution camp that aims to bridge cultural differences among children from the Middle East. Mr. Toll serves on the board of overseers of the Cornell Real Estate Council, and is on the board of directors of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross and Beth Shalom Synagogue. In addition, he is a member of the Mayor’s Housing Partnership Council in Philadelphia. 

As a builder, Mr. Toll has few peers. Toll Brothers, Inc. has received the three most prestigious honors in the building industry: America’s Best Builder, the National Housing Quality Award, and Builder of the Year. Last year and again this year, Barron’s named Mr. Toll one of the top 30 CEOs in the world, joining Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, and GE’s Jeffrey Immelt on that distinctive list. He was also named CEO of the Year by Builder Magazine in 2005, and by Institutional Investor Magazine.




  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 33, May 9, 2006


May 9, 2006
Volume 52 Number 33


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