Bowdoin College graduate and Netflix chief executive officer Reed Hastings is donating $5 million toward a new Bowdoin program that helps low-income students, first-generation students and traditionally underrepresented students.

The “Thrive” program offers academic assistance and skill development for the students and is expected to improve graduation rates.

“Many studies, and our own experience, clearly show that incredibly talented and successful students from low-income families or who are the first in their families to attend college—students we actively seek and who are coming to Bowdoin—often have more difficulty transitioning to college and taking full advantage of all we have to offer,” Bowdoin President Clayton Rose said in a news release. “Simply put, Reed, who is a passionate advocate for education, is making it possible for us to pursue this necessary work. We are tremendously grateful to him for his vision and generosity.”

Hastings will work with four educators to develop the program, monitor progress and meet annually with Thrive students.

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