Joanna Norris, Associate Director Department of Public Relations (904) 620-2102
Joanna Norris, Associate Director
Department of Public Relations
The University of North Florida announced today a significant gift to the University during a special ceremony honoring its longtime major gift donors, unveiling a donor wall in recognition of their cumulative giving over the years to higher education.
Jacksonville business executive David A. Stein, a longtime supporter of the University and a UNF Foundation board member, recently placed the University in his estate for $1 million, establishing the David A. Stein Graduate Fellowship Endowment Fund, with opportunities available to obtain $750,000 in state-matching funds.
“I did this because it will help these students go to graduate school and indirectly will benefit the metro area when they give back to the community,” he said. “I’ve spent my entire life in the same zip code. I love this community.”
The purpose of the gift, which will be administered by the Foundation, is to provide graduate fellowships to UNF students. Preference for scholarships will be given to graduates of the David A. Stein undergraduate endowed scholarship, which was established at the University during the ‘99-‘00 academic year.
“This generous gift is dedicated to one of our top priorities, graduate fellowships. This is a growth area for UNF and private support is needed to encourage students to continue their education,” said UNF President John Delaney.
Two UNF students and Stein scholars have already been selected as scholarship recipients. Seniors Joshua Woods, a communication major, and Ashley Valdez, a health science major, are both scheduled to receive their undergraduate degree this summer and will receive $5,000 each to pursue graduate studies at UNF. Woods, an Orange Park resident, plans to pursue a master’s degree in athletic administration, while Valdez, a resident of St. Augustine, wants to get her degree in public health.
Woods says he is only able to pursue an advanced degree at UNF because of the scholarship. “I can’t thank the Steins enough for their love and support. I commit to honoring them every step along the way of my pathway towards success.”
Stein’s charitable gift is much needed as the University continues to expand its graduate program. The Graduate School offers 25 master’s programs and three doctoral programs. It supports and promotes graduate education by developing, maintaining, and enhancing strong graduate programs and an excellent graduate faculty.
Stein’s gift is part of the “The Power of Transformation” comprehensive campaign, a $110 million fund-raising effort to further transform UNF into an outstanding institution of higher learning and to transform the lives of students now and into the future. The campaign kicked off at the University in fall 2009 and has raised $76.2 million to date.
“We are very pleased with the progress of the campaign. We are now over 70 percent towards our goal, said W. Radford Lovett II, Power of Transformation campaign co-chair. “The support provided to UNF during the last two years has been tremendous and has met many of the University’s strategic needs. We’re confident that we’ll meet our goal in the next two and a half years.”
The major donor recognition ceremony, held this afternoon on campus at the University Center, recognized long-term major donors who have generously given $500,000 or more to UNF. Some of the University’s top donors are Blanche and Luther Coggin; Brooks Health System and Foundation; Ann and David Hicks; the Skinner family; and Kathryn M. and Richard de Raismes Kipp.
The honorary donor wall, which lists more than 60 top donors, will be located in the first-floor lobby of Alumni Hall. Donors—many have served as volunteers to the University—include alumni, community leaders, corporations as well as individuals and friends of UNF. Gifts to the University have included cash, stocks, trusts, land, annuities and gifts-in-kind.
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