Gift Inspires Others During Pandemic
At a very young age, Dr. Anne Lufrano knew that college was in her future. Her parents valued education, and at that time, residents of New York City could attend any one of the City Universities for free. Looking back, she now sees that having a chance to attend college made all the difference in her life. She went on to earn a doctorate and have a career as a clinical psychologist.
"I would say that my husband and I both feel that where we are in our life is because of the education that we've had," she said. "So, we feel it's so important to level the playing field and to do whatever we can to allow other people to have these opportunities." The Lufranos have done just that, helping many UNF students earn an education over the years.
When the pandemic caused a financial crisis for many students, Anne and her husband, Dr. Robert Lufrano, a retired chairman and CEO of Florida Blue, made a generous matching gift to the Student Emergency Relief Fund. Students who had lost jobs and couldn't afford rent, groceries or tuition applied for assistance.
"The need was enormous," Anne said. "I feel so strongly for those students because they are working so hard to get that education, and then something like this comes along that they have absolutely no control over. So that was our impetus, to do the matching, hoping to encourage other people." And it certainly did. The gift inspired hundreds of additional donations. Since mid-March, the fund has provided about 400 payments to students in need.
The Lufranos' response to help UNF students was one example of many. The couple has lent support to Parents Association Endowed Scholarships, First Generation Scholarships as well as scholarships through the Student Affairs Community Council and School of Music. In 2009, they established the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery in the Student Union, which offers cultural and educational experiences for students, faculty and staff.
Anne's years of donating time and talent to the University are also inspiring. She currently serves on the UNF Foundation board, has dedicated years of service to the Student Affairs Community Council, chaired fundraisers for various initiatives, helped start the parent program, served on the last presidential search committee, and more. She received the Presidential Medallion for Outstanding Service, the highest nonacademic recognition at UNF.
There's no doubt that UNF students mean a great deal to Anne. "I feel that everything we can do for students not only helps them personally, but helps our community," she said. "I love the University. I'm really impressed with the students and the faculty. It's just a joy for me to be involved."