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Turner Gives McCallie School $25 Million Gift

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The McCallie School, an all-male college-preparatory school in Chattanooga, Tenn., will receive a $25 million gift from one of its best-known alumni, the broadcasting magnate Ted Turner.

The donation is part of $75 million that Mr. Turner announced last week he would divide evenly among McCallie, Brown University in Rhode Island, and The Citadel, the South Carolina military college. Each of the institutions already has received $1 million, and each will get $4 million over the next four years.

The remaining $60 million will be put into a charitable trust, to be divided equally among the three schools upon Mr. Turner's death.

Mr. Turner, a member of the class of 1960 at Brown, is the chairman of the board and president of Turner Broadcasting System Inc. in Atlanta. He and his son Robert Edward (Ted) Turner 4th, went to McCallie. All three of Mr. Turner's sons are graduates of The Citadel.

"I have always placed a very high value on education,'' Mr. Turner, 55, said in a statement. "I am pleased to be able to give something back to these schools which played such an important role in my life and the lives of my children.''

Among Largest Gifts

Mr. Turner's gift is the largest ever given to McCallie, and it ranks among the biggest to independent schools.

Even though the 730-student McCallie School is financially solid, the Turner gift lends an air of security to the school, said Bill Steverson, the director of public affairs at McCallie.

"It assures our future,'' he said. "We realize that no matter what happens in the future ... we still have that [gift].''

McCallie's board of trustees plans to use the unrestricted gift for classroom computers, faculty salaries, professional development, scholarships, and a library-learning center. The school, founded in 1905, enrolls grades 7-12.

Mr. Turner's gift follows a landmark year in school philanthropy.

The retired publisher Walter H. Annenberg in December announced a $500 million donation for public school reform. That followed his gift in June of $100 million to the Peddie School in New Jersey. (See Education Week, July 14, 1993, and Jan. 12, 1994.)

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