Anonymous donors have pledged $40 million to Gustavus Adolphus College in what is described as the largest gift ever to the private liberal arts school in St. Peter, Minn.

The donation was made by “a successful alumni couple who wishes to remain anonymous,” according to Tuesday’s announcement.

President Rebecca Bergman called it an “incredible gift” designed to help Gustavus “be at the forefront of liberal arts education well into the future.”

About a third of the funds will be earmarked for scholarships, the college said. The donation, which is a multiyear commitment, also will help fund a $70 million renovation and expansion of the campus’ Nobel Hall of Science and provide a “significant boost” to the school’s $165 million endowment, according to the announcement.

Gustavus, which was founded in 1862, has about 2,300 undergraduate students. It is known internationally for its annual Nobel Conference in the fall.

Maura Lerner