NEW YORK —  Michael Kors is giving back to his alma mater. The designer made a $1 million gift to the Fashion Institute of Technology, which will establish the Michael Kors Endowed Scholarship at the school.

This story first appeared in the December 4, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The new scholarship will go to a student each year who demonstrates exceptional talent in fashion design, and will cover the recipient’s entire bachelor’s degree costs, including tuition, housing and books. It will also feature a mentorship element with internship opportunities at Michael Kors.


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Kors, who studied at FIT in the late Seventies but dropped out to start working, credited the state school for providing him with a comprehensive fashion design curriculum he called “unparalleled” and praised the top-notch talent that passes through its doors.

“You have a lot of amazing kids who don’t have the financial wherewithal,” he told WWD. “I felt that it’s more than a scholarship. It’s also mentorship. I love the idea that we’re able to work with them from A to Z.”

The first student to receive the Michael Kors Endowed Scholarship will be named next summer in time to start in the fall.

“This wonderful endowment reflects Michael’s characteristic thoughtfulness, sense of purpose and spirit of generosity,” FIT president Dr. Joyce Brown said. “He is creating an incomparable opportunity for the talented students who come to the college — as he did — to fulfil their dreams. We are deeply grateful.”