Orlando isn’t the Only Magical Place in Florida

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Say “magic” and “Florida” in the same sentence and people think you are talking about Orlando.

However, there is something magical about Pensacola, particularly the University of West Florida’s 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign.

Launched in 2011, the campaign set a stretch goal of $42 million for the quiet phase. Fast-forward to November 2016, the University announced $48 million raised to date and a new goal of $50 million at its 50th Anniversary Gala. The gala also served as the campaign’s public launch and featured a special performance led by Grammy Award-winning composer Eric Whitacre and the University of West Florida Singers accompanied by a virtual choir of alumni from across the country. One of the enchanting highlights of the evening was the announcement of Emeriti President Judy Bense’s pledge of $1 million to the campaign.

Notable gifts to the campaign include:

  • Harold E. “Hal” Marcus’ gift of $5 million to the College of Science and Engineering. The College is named the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering.
  • Usha and Mahadeb Kundu’s gift of more than $5 million to the College of Health. The College is named the Usha Kundu MD College of Health.
  • Quint and Rishy Studer’s two $1 million gifts to fund the Pensacola Pledge Scholars Program and the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship.
  • The Bear Family Foundation’s gift of $1 million to support the UWF Department of Engineering and supply chain logistics program.
  • Professor Bob Kimball’s $1 million gift to create the Bill and Ellie Kimball Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship Award in memory of his parents. Dr. Kimball is a UWF professor of marketing and economics.
  • Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s commitment of $1 million to name the Pen Air Field as the home of UWF football in Pensacola.
  • A legacy gift of more than $770,000 from the estate of John Thayer and Joan Ames Burr to support UWF football, high impact and undergraduate research initiatives in the College of Science and Engineering.
  • Gulf Power Company’s $605,000 gift to support Voices of Pensacola, a multicultural center telling the rich history of cultural diversity in Pensacola.

The campaign stands at more than $56 million, already ahead of its $50 million goal by 12% and has spawned more than financial resources for UWF.

Two Vice Presidents for University Advancement Drs. Kyle Marrero and Brendan Kelly have gone on to lead other universities. Dr. Marrero serves as President of the University of West Georgia, and in February, Dr. Kelly became the Chancellor of University of South Carolina Upstate. To learn more see http://uwf.edu.