Two gifts to The Power of Transformation campaign will eventually
result in an infusion of more than $1 million to the First Generation
The gifts of $250,000 from both EverBank
and THE PLAYERS Championship were announced recently at the annual
First Generation luncheon on campus. Eventually, they will generate an
additional $500,000 in state matching funds resulting in a total of $1
million flowing into the program over the five-year commitment for both
gifts. The money will fund scholarships for students who are the first
in their families to go to college.
The First Generation Scholarship Program has provided assistance to more than 750 students to attend UNF.
EverBank gift carries with it a preference to fund scholarships for
students enrolled at The Bridge of Northeast Florida, a non-profit
organization dedicated to transforming the lives of at-risk children.
First Generation Scholarship program perfectly aligns with EverBank’s
community outreach philosophy,” said Blake Wilson, president and CFO of
EverBank Financial Corp. “It addresses a critical concern in our
community by providing much-needed assistance to motivate young people
who otherwise might not have had an opportunity to attend college.”
sits on the boards of the UNF Foundation and The Bridge and was able to
bring the two organizations together. “We see both programs as a
natural fit for each other. As young people move through The Bridge, we
want to give them the added incentive to get a higher education. This
is a tremendous opportunity to help break the generations of poverty
and develop new leadership within the community,” he said.
Allaire, vice president for Institutional Advancement, said EverBank’s
commitment to the First Generation Scholarship program demonstrates how
the public and private sectors can work together to benefit the
community. “The corporate citizenship exhibited by EverBank is
remarkable,” he said. “This commitment is a major step in The Power of
Transformation campaign and ultimately in our ability to transform the
lives of our students.”
EverBank Financial Corp., and its
EverBank subsidiaries, is a privately held thrift holding company
headquartered in Jacksonville offering banking, lending, leasing and
The gift by THE PLAYERS Championship is the
latest in a series of philanthropic initiatives that have benefited
UNF. “Over the years, THE PLAYERS Championship has demonstrated a
commitment to education in general and UNF in particular which will pay
dividends for generations of our students,” Allaire noted.
Monahan, executive director of THE PLAYERS Championship, said the
scholarship donation presents an opportunity to change lives. “The
scholarship gives first generation students an opportunity for a
world-class education while also giving us an opportunity to have a
significant impact on the community since so many UNF graduates remain
in the area to pursue careers.”
Monahan said the First
Generation Scholarship program is a natural investment for THE PLAYERS
because of the ever-growing relationship with UNF’s students and its
graduates. “UNF is part of the bedrock of this community and its
students and alumni are an important part of THE PLAYERS,” he said.
“UNF graduates, today and in the future, comprise spectators who attend
the annual tournament, leading business executives who are sponsors and
the volunteers who make the event and our charitable outcome a reality
In addition to the First Generation Scholarship
program, THE PLAYERS assisted in the establishment of the Osprey Hall
of Fame, which entailed substantial renovations at the UNF Arena. The
organization has also been involved in funding the First Tee program at
the Hayt Golf Learning Center on campus. The donation to the First
Generation Program means THE PLAYERS has donated more than $1 million
to UNF, making it a member of the University’s elite Founders Society.
With THE PLAYERS Championship most recent gift, UNF has named the
organization as the title sponsor for the annual scholarship luncheon,
beginning in 2011.
Proceeds from THE PLAYERS Championship
benefit Northeast Florida charities. Since 1977, when THE PLAYERS
Championship moved to Ponte Vedra Beach, more than $35 million has been
contributed to Northeast Florida charities, including a record $4.15
million donation in 2009.
The Power of Transformation campaign
is a multi-year endeavor to raise $110 million to enhance the quality
of education at UNF with a primary focus on raising additional funds
for scholarship assistance. To date, the campaign has raised $69