2019-2020 Foundation Annual Report

Page 1

Foundation Annual Report 2019 to 2020

Thank You

Our generous donors continue to move UWF forward in extraordinary ways. Your support is invaluable to our students and our community. We are building a smarter workforce as you support us in launching the next generation of big thinkers who will change the world. With your help, we are blazing new trails through research, recognition, academics, athletics, ideas and innovation. Our opportunities are endless with brilliant faculty members, inspired students and devoted donors. Thank you for turning dreams into reality.

Foundation Annual Report 1

hen I reflect on all that we have accomplished at the University of West Florida in the past year and how we’ve done it, one of the first things that comes to mind is our dedicated community of donors, alumni and friends. Your investments are creating abundant opportunities for our students. With the COVID-19 pandemic still gripping the nation and challenging us in many ways, your support means more than ever. Your contributions help us move forward and give our students financial relief during a time of need.


Message from the

2 University of West Florida

You believe in us, and together, we are making a positive impact in Northwest Florida and beyond. You, our donors, are valued members of the UWF community, and we truly appreciate your contributions, service and support. Together we will continue making an impact in our community and beyond.

Martha D. Saunders University of West Florida President

Message from the Vice President The Argo Spirit demonstrated by our alumni, supporters, board members and friends continues to energize us. You did not waver in your commitment to the future of our institution during these challenging times. We were fortunate to achieve another record-breaking year for fundraising. Notable highlights include the most new cash gifts in dollars, the most Nautilus Society level donors, the second highest number of major gifts and the highest giving percentage from all University boards in our history. Your investment makes a critical difference in successfully achieving our mission. As we navigate our future together, we will focus on the extraordinary impact we make in the lives of our students and in the communities we serve. Thank you for all you do.

Howard J. Reddy Vice President of University Advancement

Foundation Annual Report 3

Creating the Supply Chain for

Coming out of the Marine Corps, I had a basic understanding of supply chain. I thought pursuing a supply chain logistics degree would be the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap between military and civilian life. Everyone in the world relies on the supply chain, and in my career, I want to make sure everyone has what they need. Earning the Ascend Performance Materials Scholarship was an honor. It showed me that Ascend and other industry leaders take note that this major serves an important role in the business realm. It feels great to know that industry leaders are looking at me and my classmates and saying, “You are important and we want to recognize you.” Samuel Hullenbaugh ’21, Ascend Performance Materials Scholarship Recipient

4 University of West Florida

Foundation Annual Report 5

Face coverings are required at all UWF locations. One free reusable face covering was provided to every student, faculty and staff when they returned to campus this fall.


6 University of West Florida

Alongside efforts to create a smooth transition to remote instruction in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, University of West Florida leaders across campus stepped up to show students they’re cared for, both academically and outside the classroom. The Division of Academic Engagement and Student Affairs, in coordination with University Advancement, developed a crowdfunding campaign that in its first two months raised nearly $25,000 in donations for the Student Emergency Support Fund. To date, that number has grown to nearly $150,000 for the fund, Argo Pantry and scholarships to assist students in crisis.

Normally, March finds students breathing a sigh of relief as they anticipate spring break and the halfway point of the spring semester. This year, however, many students returned from spring break, not to resume classes and daily routines, but instead to pack up their room on campus and head straight back home. Others found themselves wondering how they’d pay their bills as they received notice that they’d been furloughed or let go from their jobs. Thanks to the generosity of UWF alumni and members of the Pensacola community, students in need were met with funds to help pay for housing, utilities, food and more. Academic Engagement and Student Affairs also partnered with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to ensure students’ needs were met by leveraging their resources with the emergency grant funds offered through financial aid. Hailey Stephens, a biology major from Crestview, Florida, was one student who benefitted from the financial support. “Argo Pantry has made it easier and less stressful to receive food so I don’t

“Argo Pantry has made it easier and less stressful to receive food so I don’t have to wonder how I am going to feed myself during this time.” —Hailey Stephens, biology major have to wonder how I am going to feed myself during this time,” she said. “The emergency fund has allowed me to take classes during the summer, and not get behind on my bills, rent, groceries and car payment.”

for all campus residents to provide financial assistance in the midst of the transition to remote instruction, but the Student Emergency Support Fund was instrumental in filling gaps for those in need.

Argo Pantry offers support to students year-round in an effort to overcome food insecurity, which recent studies show can be a significant barrier to academic success. It remained open with limited hours throughout the entire spring and summer semesters to ensure access for students in need of assistance.

“The Student Emergency Support Fund helped me move out of my campus facility when the University closed,” Karrick said. “I lost my on-campus job and it helped me pay for groceries.”

Many students, like Michaela Karrick, a business administration major from Columbia, Missouri, found themselves without housing or employment. The University provided flat-rate refunds

Cameron Duggins, a marketing major, said he was working at Footlocker before the pandemic, but quickly found himself in need of financial assistance as its impact was felt across town. “My job paid for expenses like my car note and insurance, credit card and laptop,” he said. “On March 16, parttime employees at Footlocker were furloughed, putting me out of work. I was scrolling through the UWF homepage to see if the University was offering any type of support for students, and I am so glad I came across the emergency fund.” To learn more about UWF’s crowdfunding campaigns, visit crowdfunding.uwf.edu. The Argo Pantry provides food to currently enrolled UWF students in need of assistance. Foundation Annual Report 7

The Santa Rosa Island Triathlon’s two new scholarship endowments will benefit the UWF cross country and swimming and diving programs.

Santa Rosa Island Triathlon GIFTS $50K TO SUPPORT UWF STUDENT-ATHLETES By Tom St. Myer 8 University of West Florida


Argonaut Athletic Club Highlights Argo pride swells in Charles and Jacki Gheen each year they attend the Argonaut Athletic Club StudentAthlete Donor Dinner and Banquet. Those annual encounters with student-athletes reaffirm their longstanding investment in University of West Florida Athletics. “You see kids who are squeaky clean, good citizens and students and great athletes,” said Charles, who earned a master’s degree from UWF and is retired from the U.S. Department of Defense. “An effort that helps kids like that is all good.” The Gheens have generously supported UWF Athletics and other area programs through their roles with the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon, an annual race that started on Pensacola Beach nearly 25 years ago and draws hundreds of competitors. Before stepping down in 2019, the couple served as co-directors of the race and served on the board of directors for Santa Rosa Island Triathlon Inc., a public non-profit organization. Charles estimated the non-profit has donated between $150-175,000 in race proceeds to worthy causes over the years, and the final gift under the Gheens’ leadership set a new benchmark. In April, Santa Rosa Island Triathlon announced a gift of $50,000 to create two new scholarship endowments that will benefit the UWF cross country and swimming and diving programs in perpetuity.

1,708 Argonaut Athletic Club Donors

“The whole intent was always to give back to the community, specifically to cross county and swimming and diving because those are athletes who tend to come into triathlons in some way,” said Jacki, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UWF and spent 30 years as an educator in the Santa Rosa County School District. “It’s our local University, but it’s also special to us because that’s where all of our degrees have come from.” This marks the first endowment for swimming and diving and the first to support both men and women’s cross country programs. The gifts position the UWF student-athletes to compete for championships and earn a higher education. The women’s cross country program has made two NCAA Division II National Finals appearances and the swimming and diving program has consistently placed at the NCAA Championships since 2014. “We’ve been so impressed with the athletic department at UWF, and how it’s grown from what it was when we

More than


in gifts and commitments

were students there to what it is now with adding football and developing the programs for the kids,” Jacki said. “It’s amazing to look at what those students do.” Mindi Straw and her husband, Evan Malone, succeeded the Gheens as the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon directors. The new directors have formed Give It A Tri Inc., a 501c3 non-profit, and plan to generously support area athletic programs, just like their predecessors. "The Santa Rosa Island Triathlon has a long history of supporting youth and collegiate athletics through financial donations from proceeds of the race,” Straw said. “Our belief is youth and collegiate athletics is more than physical stamina, but rather plays a role in team building, self-esteem, stress, improved academics and so much more. The youth are our future and we need to be a part of developing them. We look forward to continuing the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon tradition of supporting athletics in our community."

“We’ve been so impressed with the athletic department at UWF, and how it’s grown from what it was when we were students there to what it is now.” —Jacki Gheen, former co-director of Santa Rosa Island Triathlon Foundation Annual Report 9


Making a


Giving to UWF provides invaluable support to students. Our donors are transforming the lives of students with their investment in UWF.

July 2019

Dr. Arup K. Mukherjee COB Endowment Scholarship Anita Mukherjee created an endowment in honor of her husband, Dr. Arup K. Mukherjee, in the College of Business with a gift of $26,000.

10 University of West Florida

Linda B. Cassaly Charitable Lead Annuity Trust Linda Cassaly made a $500,000 pledge to provide scholarship support for UWF students. For the next 25 years, the UWF Foundation will award scholarships from this generous gift.

July 2019

July 2019

Antonio Apap Charitable Gift Annuity Antonio Apap made a $32,258 donation to the College of Education and Professional Studies through a charitable gift annuity.

Foundation Annual Report 11

Sandy Sansing Foundation Sandy Sansing continued his ongoing support of UWF student-athletes with a $20,000 gift for the UWF athletic program and athletics scholarships.

September 2019

September 2019

September 2019

Regions Bank Gift for POP:Murals Regions Bank made a $35,000 gift to the UWF Historic Trust in support of the POP:Murals project, which showcases historically significant photos and images across downtown Pensacola.

12 University of West Florida

Knowles Music Scholars The late Dr. Ralph E Knowles Jr. continued his support of the Dr. Grier Williams School of Music by donating $20,000 toward student scholarships. This gift provides support for the Knowles Choral Scholars.

September 2019

October 2019

The Russenberger Foundation Ray and Valerie Russenberger continued their support of the Argo Athletic Band with a $20,000 gift to the program.

Greater Pensacola Aquatic Club Scoreboard Support The Greater Pensacola Aquatic Club donated $80,500 to the UWF Aquatic Center for a new scoreboard and 18 new starting blocks.

Foundation Annual Report 13

Polsgrove Family STEM Endowment Scholarship Tracey Polsgrove, a twotime graduate of UWF, donated $25,000 to UWF to create the Polsgrove Family STEM Endowment Scholarship.

December 2019

March 2020

January 2020 Anonymous Gift for the Dr. Grier Williams School of Music A $150,000 gift was made from an anonymous donor in honor of Dr. Leonid Yanovskiy, the director of strings in the Dr. Grier Williams School of Music. The gift will support the Arthur Thal Scholarship Endowment, which benefits students studying any string instrument.

14 University of West Florida

Studer Baseball Support Quint and Rishy Studer made a charitable donation to the UWF baseball program of $25,000. The Studers have been longtime supporters of the UWF Athletics.

Johnson Scholarship Foundation Donation for COVID-19 Relief The Johnson Scholarship Foundation donated $35,000 for general scholarship support and support for students with disabilities.

June 2020

April through June 2020 Community Support for Small Business Relief Through generous funding from the Gulf Power Foundation, the cities of Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Destin and the commissioners of Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties, over $1,278,500 in grants were provided through the UWF Small Business Development Center to small businesses across Northwest Florida during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Foundation Annual Report 15

Battle of the Decades For UWF’s next Annual Day of Giving, we are challenging our alumni in a Battle of the Decades. Make a gift to support your decade and show UWF who is best! Alumni will share their graduating decade when giving and we will count the most gifts raised by each decade. Make your gift on April 15, 2021, and help your generation come out on top! At the end of the day, we’ll all be winners because we’re raising funds to support our students and University. When we all come together, our students and University win. Learn more and make your gift at dayofgiving.uwf.edu. #UWFDayOfGiving

16 University of West Florida

The John C. Pace Library has been a go-to campus location for students throughout the decades since UWF’s opening in 1967.

Foundation Annual Report 17

UWF chemistry students in face coverings conduct research in the Roy and Henrietta (Etts) Hemminghaus Chemistry Lab.

Hemminghaus Laboratory DONOR GIVES $200K TO NAME CHEMISTRY LAB, CHANGE LIVES By Brittany Swinford ’11

18 University of West Florida

Sometimes, a walk around the University of West Florida’s campus inspires generosity and support for future generations. For Roger Hemminghaus, a campus visit with his daughter and sonin-law, Sherri and Jeff Weeks, sparked a desire to honor the memory of his father by giving $200,000 to the Department of Chemistry in the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering. With their gift, Roger and his wife, Dot Hemminghaus, named the Roy and Henrietta (Etts) Hemminghaus Chemistry Lab in the new Laboratory Sciences Annex. They will also support scholarships for students in the chemistry department in memory of Roy, who served as senior project coordinator and general manager for the Chemstrand Corporation nylon plant, established in Pensacola in the 1950s.

“We want the income from our endowment to provide encouragement and financial means for current and future students to pursue and excel in careers in science and other related fields,” Roger said. “Supported by a nearly full scholarship, my father was the first in his family to attend and graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree. My mother never had that opportunity, but she was certainly an influential partner for Roy and a great role model for me and my siblings.” Dr. Karen Molek, department chair and associate professor of chemistry, said the generosity of donors like Hemminghaus sets off a chain reaction, changing the lives of students. “We have many first-generation college and/or financially disadvantaged students who are working 30-plus hours a week while enrolled in college full time,” she said. “This gift provides much needed scholarship funds, allowing students to focus on conducting research or interning with local industries instead of working part-time jobs. The field experience increases

their competitiveness for jobs and/or professional or graduate programs.” Julia Schweig, a Spring 2020 chemistry graduate, is entering the Doctorate of Chemistry program at the University of Florida this fall. She was one of the first students to use the new chemistry lab and said it made a positive difference in her last year of undergraduate study.

The new lab also provided chemistry students the opportunity to gain individual experience on all of the instruments without needing to be in large groups or waiting several days to find an available time.” Molek said the new chemistry lab is an incredible start, but there’s still more to be done.

“This gift provides much needed scholarship funds, allowing students to focus on conducting research or interning with local industries instead of working part-time jobs.” —Dr. Karen Molek, department chair and associate professor of chemistry “In the Hemminghaus Chemistry Lab, I worked on my laboratory courses while conducting research in one convenient location,” she said. “This allowed more time to focus on my graduate school applications and to study for exams.

“Our goal is to provide more students from multiple departments with the opportunity to do research, so they can meet their potential for future success,” she said. “This requires finishing the available shell space in the Annex, providing research equipment and supplies to support the projects, and financially supporting students, so they have the freedom to choose research.” To learn more about how you can support students in the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering, visit uwf.edu/give. The Roy and Henrietta (Etts) Hemminghaus Chemistry Lab is one of 12 teaching facilities in the Laboratory Sciences Annex for the University’s growing biology and chemistry programs. Foundation Annual Report 19

Honorary “UWF Grandparents,” Ron and Valmae Besser, FUND SCHOLARSHIPS WITH $2 MILLION GIFT By Jenny Pedraza At not even 5 feet tall, Valmae Besser was a “tiny wisp of woman” according to those who knew her best. But what she lacked in size, she made up for with presence, donning giant sunglasses to accent her dark purple hair. Val Besser always had a good story to tell. For almost 30 years until her passing in 2019, Besser was a fixture on campus, especially in the University of West Florida Department of Theatre, where she was the “adopted grandma” of the department. She would visit nearly every day, sometimes volunteering 20 to 80 hours a week, helping with theatre productions.

Members of the cast and crew of UWF’s production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” prepare their costumes and makeup before going onstage.

20 University of West Florida

“She had a little corner of our costume shop, and she’d sew all the buttons, snaps and hooks and eyes for all our costumes,” said Glenn Breed, professor of costume design and technology. “I can’t walk down the aisle of stock costumes without seeing Val. She was just part of our tapestry here. I’ll never forget her

Valmae Besser was a fixture on campus and became the “adopted grandma” of the Department of Theatre.

memorial service on campus. We had more than 1,300 people attend—and seating for only 440 in the theatre. They had to cycle through all day.” Besser’s legacy at UWF began in the early ‘90s when her husband, Ronald Besser,’92, ’01, enrolled at the University after a 27-year career with the U.S. Navy. Until his passing in 2010, Ron Besser took photos for the UWF student newspaper, as well as UWF Athletics, the Department of Theatre and other campus organizations and departments, earning the nickname “Papa Paparazzi.” In 1999, the Bessers established two endowed scholarships—one for the Department of English and another for the Department of History. In 2010, Val Besser established a third scholarship endowment, created specifically for students working in theatre design and technical theatre programs. Following Val Besser’s passing, the University learned it would receive a gift of approximately $2 million in support of the Besser’s scholarship endowments.

“They were a part of the UWF family, and as it turns out, they wanted to ensure their family was taken care of.” —Dr. Steven Brown, dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities In the past two years alone, 19 students have been awarded scholarships thanks to the Bessers. JP Riddle, ’20, a technical theatre major with an emphasis on costume, hair and make-up, received the scholarship his freshman and senior years at UWF. He will continue his work in theatre as a graduate student at the University of Houston.

“I was paying for college myself and continuing to work the whole time, so this extra cushion on top of my financial aid made it possible for me to live and to take a couple of days off each week to focus on my studies,” Riddle said. “I really looked up to Val. Some of my best memories were spending a ‘home away from home’ Thanksgiving celebration with her at Professor Breed’s house and all the amazing things she crocheted for our productions. I still have an afghan blanket she made.” Tana Rogers, ’19, a graduate student in English, also received a scholarship from the Besser’s endowment. She plans to pursue a doctorate and become an English professor. “I’m eternally grateful for their generosity—not just for me—but for our entire field,” Rogers said. “The liberal arts are so important to our society, and for the Bessers to see the importance of that and leave this gift—it’s everlasting.” Dr. Steven Brown, dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, said he never saw the Bessers happier than when they were with a group of UWF students. “They were a part of the UWF family, and as it turns out, they wanted to ensure their family was taken care of,” Brown said. “They saw in UWF a transformative quality, and I don’t know that we’ll ever be able to calculate the impact they’ve had.” Foundation Annual Report 21


The UWF Foundation exists to encourage, manage and administer private resources to support the mission and priorities of the University of West Florida, as established by the Board of Trustees and the president of the University of West Florida.

The Foundation is dedicated to assisting the University through building the donor and board restricted endowments, currently valued at $74.6 million. Through private financial support, Foundation resources support long-term academic and other priorities of the University, provide opportunities for students and afford a margin of institutional excellence unavailable with state funds. Investment Philosophy—Asset Allocation and Style Diversification

Research suggests that the decision to allocate total assets among various asset classes will far outweigh security selection and other decisions that impact portfolio performance. The Investment Committee recognizes the strategic importance of asset allocation and style diversification in the investment performance of the assets over long periods of time. Domestic and international equities, both large and small capitalization, fixed income, cash equivalent 22 University of West Florida

securities, real estate, private equity, and fund of funds hedge funds in the form of diversified fund of funds have been determined to be acceptable vehicles for these assets. Additional asset classes and style strategies may be incorporated into the investment philosophy in the future. Investment Objective

The objectives of the assets are the enhancement of capital and real purchasing power while limiting exposure to risk of loss. Real purchasing power or real rate of return will be defined as returns in excess of inflation as defined by Consumer Price Index. At a minimum, long-term rates of return should be equal to an amount sufficient to maintain the purchasing power of these assets and provide necessary capital to fund the Foundation’s spending policy. As such, the desired minimum rate of return is equal to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 400 basis points (4%) for spending, plus an additional 200 basis point (2%) on an annualized basis. Bottom line, the overall minimum rate of return is equal to CPI plus 600 basis points (6%). In light of this return requirement, the portfolio should be constructed using a total return approach with a significant portion of the funds invested to seek growth of principal over time. The assets

are to be invested for the long term, and a higher short-term volatility in these assets is to be expected and accepted. Spending Policy

The Foundation takes seriously its responsibility to provide prudent fiduciary management, oversight of the endowments and intergenerational equity. To this end, the Foundation utilizes a one-year waiting period before awarding spending and a stepdown spending allocation method should an endowment fall underwater. Through utilization of a well diversified investment portfolio strategy, prudent spending allocation policy, and the best good faith effort of its board members, the Foundation attempts to continue to provide spending to support the scholarships, programs, and faculty as designated by the donor while preserving over time the donor’s gifts to the endowment corpus. Further details on the investment policy are available at the Foundation’s website uwf.edu/foundation. The UWF Foundation was organized and incorporated in 1965 for the purpose of stimulating voluntary private support from alumni, parents, friends, corporations, foundations and others for the benefit of the University of West Florida.

Reserve Fund 10,657,886

Scholarships 9,600,275

Faculty Support




Foundation Reserve Fund 10,657,886

Foundation Net Position

Programs and Other 19,133,909

Endowments 63,513,251 Capital Assets


$118,210,516 Unrestricted 3,219,141

Programs and Other 19,133,909

Capital Assets





$63,513,251 Professorships






Programs and Other Scholarships 31,827,009


Foundation Annual Report 23

UWF Foundation Board of Directors 2019-20 **Mr. Dick Baker BOT Representative Ms. Connie Bookman **Mr. Eric Brammer ’99 Alumni Board President Mr. Rick Byars **Ms. Jamie Calvert SGA Vice President ’20 Mr. Jason Crawford ’04, ’10 Vice Chair **Dr. Matthew Crow Faculty Senate V. P. Ms. Dee Dee Davis Ms. Gail Dorsey ’83 Chair Ms. Megan Fry Mr. John Gormley ’96, ’98 Secretary Ms. Caryl Greene Mr. Tim Haag ’85 Mr. Chad Henderson Mr. David Hightower Treasurer Mr. James Hosman ’99, ’01 Ms. Kathie Jeffcoat Mr. Trip Maygarden Ms. Amber McClure ’03, ’05 Mr. John Peacock, Jr. Mr. David Peaden Mr. William Rone ’73, ’78 Mr. Chris Roney ‘98 **Dr. Martha Saunders *Mr. Gordon Sprague

Donor Bill of Rights Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights: 1. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes. 2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities. 3. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements. 4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given. 5. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition. 6. To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law. 7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature. 8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors. 9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share. 10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

Mr. Rodney Sutton ’91 Mr. Bruce Vredenburg Mr. Todd Zaborski ’08 ** Ex-Officio Voting Member *Immediate Past Chair

24 University of West Florida

The text of the above statement in its entirety was developed by the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel (AAFRC), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and adopted in November 1993.

UWF Foundation, Inc. 11000 University Parkway Pensacola, FL 32514 850.474.3118


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.