A financial gift in the amount of $500,000 will be used for three scholarships that will provide much-needed aid to students pursuing rewarding, service-oriented careers.
AEP Foundation’s donation will help the University improve upon an academic offering of programs and courses that focus on STEM learning.
The scholarships include:
The American Electric Power Foundation Endowed Scholarship in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math/medicine) Education Fund, which will go to a student who is enrolled in accounting or finance, or any programs within the Colleges of Health Professions, Pharmacy or Sciences;
The American Electric Power Foundation Findlay Forward Scholarship for Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability, which will impact eight to 15 students annually over five years; and
The Business Affiliates Scholarship Program, which provides critical financial support to UF students with financial need who either graduated from a Hancock County high school or who are currently employed by a Hancock County business.
AEP is pleased to provide such funding, which supports one of the Columbus, Ohio-based company’s central tenants of community involvement, said Dale Heydlauff, AEP Foundation president.
“Education is the essential precursor to change, to growth, and to innovation,” Heydlauff pointed out during today’s private gift announcement ceremony on campus. He concluded that scholarships such as those being funded at UF by AEP are therefore critical due to higher education costs that are requiring students to manage greater debt loads after graduation.
UF Senior Gabbi McCracken, an Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability student, thanked the AEP Foundation for its philanthropic efforts. Because of similar assistance provided by the company and others with a similar altruistic ethos, she said she “will be graduating with debt that’s very manageable.” Offsetting McCracken’s expenses have been Business Affiliates scholarships and academic scholarships she has earned.
Nathan Tice, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, added that AEP Foundation’s donation will help the University improve upon an already stellar academic offering of programs and courses that focus on STEM learning. Thanks to UF’s emphasis on collaboration and community impact, successes such as cancer research, work that combats intergenerational poverty, and astronomy events at Newhard Planetarium for participants of all ages are already having positive effects, he maintained. “This generous gift is going to help us do this even better,” he said.