Campus Life

$700,000 pledge to support need-based scholarships

The University of West Florida announced that the Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation pledged $700,000, over five years, as a two-part challenge to support need-based scholarships at UWF.

In the first part of its challenge to UWF, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation is challenging the university to raise $1 million for need-based scholarship endowments over the next five years. Upon the successful completion of the UWF challenge, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation will gift $600,000 to UWF which, with state match, would establish a $1.02 million Johnson Scholarship Foundation endowment within the UWF Foundation. When combined, the anticipated gifts and state match will provide approximately $2.5 million in new need-based endowed scholarships. These funds will annually support more than 100 students in financial need, helping them to obtain a higher education.

In the second part of its challenge gift to UWF, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation has pledged $100,000 over five years to challenge others to support the First Generation Scholarship at UWF. Gifts to the First Generation Scholarship are currently also matched 100 percent by the State of Florida First Generation Matching Grant program.

“Higher education provides individual opportunity and serves as a foundation for the future of our region,” said UWF President John Cavanaugh. “The Johnson Scholarship Foundation’s generous challenge gift provides a unique way to support hundreds of future UWF students giving them a chance to obtain a university education that otherwise might not be possible for them. I encourage all of UWF’s alumni and friends to help us meet this challenge by providing charitable support for need-based scholarships over the next five years.”

The Johnson Scholarship Foundation is a private foundation based in West Palm Beach. The mission of the foundation is to assist disadvantaged people to obtain education, believing that education can empower disadvantaged people to improve their economic circumstances and quality of life. The foundation operates a number of core programs, which were established by its founder, and supports the education of disabled, economically disadvantaged and American Indian students.

“By helping UWF to raise money for permanent scholarship endowments, we are sowing seeds for the education of future generations of students in financial need,” said Malcolm Macleod, Chief Executive Officer of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. “This education will empower them to get better jobs, to become more independent and to enjoy a better quality of life. Education of future generations will also move us towards a more just and productive society.”

UWF also announced that the first individuals to respond to the Johnson Scholarship Foundation challenge are Terry and Susie Conner. The Conners recently gifted $100,000 to establish a new need-based scholarship endowment in the UWF Foundation. In addition to counting toward the $1 million challenge goal; their gift will be eligible for a $50,000 match from the State of Florida Major Gifts Matching Program. Terry Conner retired in 2004 as senior vice president and chief information officer for the Liberty Mutual Group, a financial services organization with corporate headquarters in Boston. He graduated from UWF in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in systems science. He most recently served on the UWF “Creating Great Futures” campaign steering committee.

UWF is Creating Great Futures – Want to help? Visit For more information, contact Dean Van Galen, vice president for University Advancement, at (850) 474-3306.