Carter Boydstun is director of CLAS Development.
Many alumni credit certain individuals with helping them get to the level of success they enjoy in life. "If it hadn't been for Mrs. Mary Donor, I would not have had the opportunity to attend college," is the frequent refrain I hear. Without the generous supporter or the mentoring professor, students cannot be successful in the world of tomorrow. This holds true today more so than it has in the past. The demand for student support continues to increase, however, due to the greater number of students attending the University of Florida. This increase outstrips the availability of scholarships which is reflected in the number of academically and financially qualified applicants for each award.
Our wonderful donors can be proud of the students they have benefited over the last two decades, through individual student scholarships and through term professorship endowments. When a deserving faculty member receives financial support to buy equipment, instructional materials, consult with peers and host guest lecturers and researchers from outstanding labs and institutions, our students' education is greatly enhanced.
Through term professorships, the Dean has designed an opportunity for individuals to support our faculty's research efforts and in turn, to provide UF students the skills needed in a modern competitive world. After all, students can be successful only if their professors are able to maintain their connections with the real world, both present and future.
The impact of one scholarship endowment established with a minimum gift of $20,000 up to the $100,000 level - which the state will match with an additional $50,000 - is great. Each faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has a direct influence on hundreds of students each year. Unfortunately, during the 1990s, faculty have not had the benefits of extra money for their own intellectual and instructional skills growth that they had during previous decades. With the four or five term professorships the College supports, we have been able to provide our most deserving faculty with money to research the latest developments and attend professional seminars in their field. As a result, our students benefit from the high quality of teaching they receive from our faculty.