The UNC School of the Arts has received $5 million for scholarships from the Kenan Charitable Trust of Chapel Hill, the university said Wednesday in a statement.

The money will be used to expand the Kenan Excellence Scholars Program, increasing the number of scholarships given each year to 20 from 12, UNCSA said. The program pays in-state tuition, fees, and room and board for four years of study at UNCSA, with its focus on first-generation and minority students.

The money also will support the university’s current fundraising campaign, UNCSA said.

The trustees of Kenan Charitable Trust made the donation to honor the work of outgoing UNCSA Chancellor Lindsay Bierman. Bierman will resign as chancellor July 31 to become the chief executive of UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina on Aug. 12.

“I am deeply moved and honored by this extraordinary contribution to our campaign, and proud of the impact it will have on generations of young artists.” Bierman said.

“The Kenan Trust’s steadfast support for UNCSA has unleashed remarkable talent, launched countless strategic initiatives and upheld the highest standards of artistic excellence.”

Tom Kenan, a trustee of the Kenan Trust and an emeritus member of the UNCSA board of trustees, said that the gift honors Bierman’s work.

“The trustees of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and I are delighted to support the expansion of this important program, helping increase access for even more young artists to the top tier training offered by UNCSA,” Tom Kenan said.

The Kenan Charitable Trust’s pledge will be fully paid by 2021, UNCSA said.

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jhinton@wsjournal.com 36-727-7299 @jhintonWSJ

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