Historical endowment fosters discovery and innovation
The University of West Florida has long been recognized for providing a learning environment where undergraduate students are provided with experiences that are often only reserved for graduate students at other institutions. In recognition of this approach to education, UWF’s School of Science and Engineering received its most generous gift commitment of $500,000 to date.
This historical endowment will foster discovery and innovation by providing funds specifically for undergraduate students in the areas of scholarships, travel, innovation and research. Scholarship funds will attract and maintain top students, reward upper-level students who are achieving academic excellence, and provide the opportunity to participate in project-based learning activities. Additionally, travel funds will encourage and promote student participation in regional, national and international venues such as conferences, symposia, workshops and competition that promote collaborate and interdisciplinary projects. The spirit of the innovation funds is to fuel the imagination of students and provide the supportive environment for students to become entrepreneurs. Finally, the endowment will provide funds for undergraduate students to become engaged in faculty-mentored research projects.
The donors wish to remain anonymous but indicated their commitment was provided in large part due to their first-hand experience with UWF students. Several have interned with the donor’s manufacturing company and worked on research projects, often offering unique solutions to engineering problems. Upon graduation, many remain with the company as full-time employees. They also have a passion for higher education and providing those invaluable experiences to young people. According to School of Science and Engineering Director, Leo ter Haar, “We are truly appreciative of the opportunity this endowment will give to those students who are eager to pursue entrepreneurial and innovative careers based on getting a project across the finish line. Whether it is our competitive teams, our research students or our interns in the regional community, there are many costs associated with the development of creative and scholarly talent that are not covered by standard budgets. Endowments like this enable our efforts in project-based discovery and collaborative learning to become a sustainable hallmark of the SSE.”
To learn more about ways to impact the School of Science and Engineering through charitable giving, please contact Gretchen VanValkenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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