News Releases

$3 million gift to assist UWF students in pursuit of American Dream

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the University of West Florida will receive more than $3 million to assist deserving students in their pursuit of the American Dream.

This transformational gift will establish an endowment for need-based scholarships with preference given to immigrants and refugees and enhance accessibility to higher education for UWF students. UWF enrolled 290 students classified as immigrants in Fall 2015. With the additional scholarship funds, new student enrollment is projected to increase by approximately 30 percent over the next several years.

“Sometimes it amazes me how strong the power of generosity is in our region,” UWF President Martha Saunders said. “This gift will provide needed financial aid to students for generations to come. The donor does not want credit for this incredible act of giving. We are deeply grateful.”

Endowment dollars enable UWF to sustain growth, increase its reputation for quality and compete in the higher education marketplace to attract and retain a talented and diverse student body. Need- and talent-based scholarships to support students within all academic programs improve the lives of students and, in return, the community.

“Providing the opportunity for higher education ensures economic prosperity and mobility for our students as financial barriers can often interfere with academic progress,” said Dr. Meredith Brunen, interim vice president for university advancement. “The foresight of our benefactors is so noble. The ripples of this gift will be felt in perpetuity.”

UWF is in the public phase of its 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign, the largest capital campaign in University history. To support the campaign, visit