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IU Alumni's Kindergarten Class Going To College Free Thanks To Donation
Updated February 15, 2016 7:24 AM | Filed under: Education
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(NEW YORK) - An Indiana University alumni's kindergarten class at Rio Vista Elementary School will get their college tuition paid for thanks to a generous donation.

Marty Burbank is pledging to fund each student's tuition for two years at community college and two years at a California state school -- or the equivalent if they want to attend elsewhere

In exchange, Burbank ask that each student draw a picture or write an essay each year about what going to college will mean for them and their families.

"I'm a strong believer in visualizing your goals, and this way they'll be thinking about this each year for the next 12 years," he says.

Both Burbank, an attorney and Navy veteran, and his wife Seon, a professor at Vanguard University, were the first in their families to go to college.

A few months ago, he was set on buying a boat and had his search narrowed down to two choices. But his pastor's sermon one Sunday about charity and sacrifice changed his mind.

He estimates the tuition will cost about $1 million by 2032 and has set up a private foundation where he'll contribute some funds each year until there's enough. The generous donation will hurt the couple's finances a bit. Burbank, 51, plans to delay retirement and who is driving a truck now, plans to keep on driving for a few more years than expected.

All 26 students in Tessa Ashton's kindergarten class speak Spanish at home. They arrived at school the first day knowing little English, or ever hearing much about college and many would never be able to afford college. After hearing the news, Ashton's classroom idecked out with Indiana University garb, her alma mater. And Burbank gave each student an IU sweatshirt and t-shirt with "Class of 2032" printed on it.

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