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Paul Raines Establishes Need-Based and Study Abroad Scholarships

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Raines extend support for need-based and study abroad scholarships

“I was a Costa Rican-American kid, and at Georgia Tech that was very unusual back then.” Three decades later, it is far less unusual, and J. Paul Raines, IE 1985, and his wife, Claudia Larrondo Raines, are committed to ensuring that continues.

“We think it is important to promote Georgia Tech as a destination for high-achieving Hispanic students of limited means,” Paul Raines said. “We also think it is important for students to have all of the opportunities that come with living, traveling, and studying abroad.” In 2013, the couple established the Raines Larrondo Scholarships, which are awarded to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need who are U.S. citizens, with preference for qualified students of Hispanic descent.

In addition, they created the Raines Larrondo International Study Abroad Scholarship, which can be used for a study abroad, internship abroad, or work abroad program offered by Georgia Tech in a country where Spanish is the official or national language. Preference for the stipend is given to recipients of the Raines Larrondo Scholarship.

In the final quarter of 2015, they doubled that support with a new seven-figure commitment that will be divided between the two scholarships. “We see how life-changing this can be for students,” Claudia explained. “We have received letters from many of them, and they have been very moving. They are all extremely dedicated students who appreciate the opportunity, and make the most of it.”

Their most recent philanthropy also counted toward the Campaign’s final tally. But the Raines focused on the totality of the success of Campaign Georgia Tech. As Paul put it, “Everything counts. If we all put in what we can, it makes the Institute better in multiple ways, and it also makes you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. That’s what we saw in the Campaign.”

Paul Raines is the CEO of GameStop Inc., a video game and entertainment software retailer, and a former executive vice president at Home Depot. He has served on the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees, the Engineering Advisory Board, and the Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board, and is the former chair of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board. He was named a College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus in 2006. He and Claudia, who is originally from Chile and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of California, Berkeley, have two children, Julian Raines and Victoria Raines, BA 2016. Julian will be carrying on a proud family tradition when he enters Georgia Tech as a freshman this fall.

“Paul and I were once like many Tech students today,” Claudia said. “We didn’t have a lot of means, and our parents worked very hard to provide us with a great education. We are so happy and honored to be able to help students receive the education — and the preparation for the real world — that Georgia Tech provides.” “I am a big believer in Georgia Tech,” Paul added. “And I always will be.”

To inquire about making a gift in support of undergraduate scholarships and international study abroad scholarships, contact any Development officer or Associate Vice President Dorcas G. Wilkinson at 404.894.4540 or dorcas. wilkinson@dev.gatech.edu.