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Press Release for Friday, October 13, 2017

UNF Hosts Endowed and First Generation Scholarship Luncheon

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida will recognize endowed and First Generation scholarship donors and will celebrate the lives of students that have been forever changed by their generosity at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the Adam W. Herbert University Center, Building 43, Grand Banquet Hall, Room 1044, on the UNF campus.

This event celebrates the donors who are helping students achieve their dreams by either establishing an endowed scholarship or supporting UNF’s First Generation Scholarship Program, which targets students who are the first in their families to seek a four-year college degree.

“As we celebrate our 45th year at UNF and reflect on our University’s history, we know we couldn’t have come this far without the support of those who believed in us,” said UNF President John Delaney. “The support from our donors sets an example for our students and inspires them to one day pay it forward, so future students can benefit the way they did.”

This is the 12th year of the UNF First Generation Scholarship Program. More than 3,700 students have been part of this scholarship opportunity, receiving over $8 million in scholarship funding to achieve their dreams of being the first in their family to attend college. Since the First Generation Scholarship Program began in 2006, nearly 1,500 donors have invested in the fund. Every donation is leveraged for additional funds from the State of Florida.

Endowed scholarships have grown significantly over the past two decades. Currently, UNF has over 250 endowed scholarships that total more than $46 million. Each year, spendable interest from the University’s endowed scholarships support students across all academic disciplines. For example, last year the UNF Foundation awarded almost $2.5 million to approximately 1,130 students.

For UNF junior Huyana Phour, the First Generation Scholarship Program, has helped her realize her dreams of getting a college education.

While just kids, her parents fled Cambodia during a dark time in the country’s history, which was marked by forced labor, malnutrition, torture and mass executions. They left family members behind in search for a better life in the United States.

Even though both of Phour’s parents don’t speak English well, they’ve always wanted what was best for her and the best education possible. She knew at a young age that they wouldn’t be able to help with her schoolwork.

“Over the years, they hired tutors, always preparing me for the next grade level. They did whatever it took to help me academically,” she said.

In high school, college was always Phour’s goal, so she took advanced placement and honors classes as well as dual enrollment courses. Now at UNF, she is majoring in communication and is passionate about her classes. She hopes to one day work in politics or for a major corporation.

She says the First Generation Scholarship is meaningful to her and her parents. “My parents fled their home country for the American Dream, which in our family means getting a college education,” said Phour. “This scholarship lessens the load on my parents and allows me to focus on my studies.”

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.