Muckleshoot Indian Tribe near Auburn has announced a $25,000 gift to University of Puget Sound that will help provide scholarships for Native American students pursuing their education.

This is the first grant to the nationally recognized liberal arts school by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, which shares the college’s ambition to provide young people with broad access to a quality education that serves as a foundation for a successful career.

“Young Native Americans in Washington have bold aspirations, but not always the family resources to ensure they can follow the paths they choose,” said Virginia Cross, chair of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. “We hope to encourage more of them to commit to a high-standard college education so they can enter civic and business life in positions that will be a boon to their community and serve as a model for other young people.”

Puget Sound has attracted a rising percentage of students from diverse backgrounds for the past two decades. More than 20 percent of freshmen students in 2012 identified as being from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education. In the 2012–13 school year, 55 Native American students attended Puget Sound.