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Introduction

Throughout history, endowments played central role in supporting educational process. This is especially true in the case of Islamic civilization where huge endowments were dedicated to supporting educational causes. Elite historical Muslim universities throughout the bright centuries of Islamic civilization flourished and sustained their momentum and influence due to educational endowments to buildings and facilities, students, books, and other educational services and causes.  Such fundamental role for endowment has also prevailed in western universities where endowments are utilized to support education and research activities. In fact, endowments grew to become one of the main sources to finance elite western universities like Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale and many others.    

However, In the modern Middle East, it is clear notice that endowments contribution to education is very poor. This is in spite of the fact that we can still find some endowments that are as old as the dawn of Islam. This calls for an immediate genuine effort to establish model endowments dedicated for education causes.

As the leading university in the region, and in response to aspiration of Saudi Arabia leadership to bridge this gap, King Saud University has embarked on an ambitious endowment project under the title "University Endowment Program", with strong support and guidance from HRH Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh, who honored the project by assuming the role of Chairman of the Supreme Committee for University Endowments.  The goals we aspire for include founding a successful role model for educational endowment that contributes to university mission of establishing strong educational and cultural environment and leading higher education in the country to new frontiers of excellence and distinction.    

This massive project is launched today to enhance the financial ability of KSU and enable the realization of its vision to lead in research and community service with stable financing of its programs and initiatives.  The endowments program will support research activities and initiatives to improve the educational and research process, and will extend support to university hospitals and health care services and medical research.  The support of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), KSU leadership, and noble donors from the business community and KSU alumni will be the basis for this program. 

King Saud University vision rests on constructive partnership to establish knowledge-based society, and draws its strength from the strong support of our leadership, our alumni and friends, and the noble businessmen of this land; in addition to the zeal and relentless endeavors of university management.  All these factors will contribute to realization of our ambitions to create, disseminate and utilize knowledge for the prosperity of our society.