The University of West Florida received a $50,000 grant from the SunTrust Foundation for the Pensacola Pledge Scholars Fund. The gift will further bolster the program, which provides scholarships to high school graduates from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties to attend UWF or Pensacola State College.
“On behalf of the SunTrust Foundation, we are pleased to help students in the Escambia and Santa Rosa areas alleviate some of their college expenses through the Pensacola Pledge Scholars Fund,” said Bob Anderson, SunTrust Bank Regional President of the Florida Panhandle. “We want to help everyone achieve financial confidence, and less debt after college is an impactful way to start.”
Pensacola Pledge Scholars was created in 2012 with an initial $1 million gift from philanthropists Quint and Rishy Studer to provide local high school students access and incentive to pursue higher education close to home, with less debt upon graduation. The scholarship program awards eligible recipients between $1,200 and $7,500 per academic year to attend UWF, or $1,200 per year to attend Pensacola State College.
“We are honored by the SunTrust Foundation’s support of the Pensacola Pledge Scholars program,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, vice president of university advancement at UWF. “All scholarships have an incredible impact on the lives of the students who receive them, but Pensacola Pledge Scholars are unique in that they are among the best and brightest minds to come from our local high schools. This gift is an investment, not only in our students, but in our community that will benefit when talented leaders of tomorrow choose to attend college close to home.”
In addition to financial support, Pensacola Pledge Scholars are recognized at community events, such as Pensacola Blue Wahoos games, as well as UWF and PSC events and commencement ceremonies. The program also provides opportunities for the scholars to give back to the local community as mentors and volunteers at recruitment events, open houses and transition programs.
To donate to the Pensacola Pledge Scholars Fund, contact the UWF Foundation at 850.474.3306. High school seniors can learn more or apply for Pensacola Pledge Scholars by visiting uwf.edu/pensacolapledge or pensacolastate.edu/pensacolapledge.