UWF Celebrates its Donors at Sixth Annual Donor Recognition Dinner
By Lauren Smith, University Marketing Communications
On November 3, the University of West Florida held its sixth annual donor recognition dinner. The event, a time-honored tradition for the university, is an opportunity for UWF to thank its most valued supporters.
“Even during difficult economic times, in 2008-2009, alumni and friends gave more than $2.6 million to the UWF Foundation,” said Kyle Marrero, vice president for University Advancement. “While this gift total is wonderful, it’s the thoughtfulness of our donors that is truly extraordinary. Our annual donor recognition dinner honors and celebrates those who make a university education possible for so many deserving students.”
The UWF Jazz Combo played for the 125 guests during a pre-dinner reception. Then, guests were treated to a full program line-up which included remarks from President Judy Bense, Foundation Board President Dave Cleveland, Foundation Board Vice President Pat Denkler, Marrero and Scholarship Recipient Kate Kashur, a senior majoring in marketing.
One of 20 UWF business students who traveled to China for three weeks in May to study logistics and global business, Kashur expressed her gratitude while she shared her study abroad experience with the audience.
“Thanks to donors like you, my dream of studying abroad came true and you make the impossible possible for so many students on campus,” said Kashur.
UWF reported on the campaign goal of $35 million to be achieved by December, 2010. As of Nov. 3, gifts and pledges totaled more than $39 million, representing contributions from more than 15,106 campaign donors. This year, gifts to the UWF Foundation have provided more than $1.2 million in merit-based and need-based scholarship support to 1,318 students.
To top the evening off, and to provide a glimpse into the future of UWF, President Bense led a 3-D technology presentation. Guests were decked out with 3-D glasses as Bense described the capabilities of the new Science and Engineering Building which will open on UWF’s main campus in February of 2011.
“The university is extremely grateful to have such wonderful friends and alumni who are creating great futures for UWF students,” said Marrero.