Donor Stories

Learn how others have made an impact through their acts of giving to our organization and others.

Clay Scherer & Juliann Hickey

Clay Scherer and Juliann HickeyOn November 20, 2015, Clay Scherer and Juliann Hickey, ’95, entered an agreement with UCF, making a charitable donation of $26,000 to create the Professor Walter K. Taylor Undergraduate Scholarship in Natural History.

This scholarship will help fund education expenses and provide awards to students in the College of Sciences majoring in biology. Clay explained he created the scholarship, “to give back to an institution that developed me and prepared me so well for my ultimate career and professional life.”

With this scholarship, Clay and Juliann said they hope “…to provide financial support to a deserving student, to encourage students to pursue their interests in Natural History, while, in some small way, recognizing the enormous contributions of a faculty member.”

Carolyn Euliano

Carolyn EulianoWomen are vastly underrepresented in STEM jobs and among STEM degree holders, despite making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce and half of the college-educated workforce. Carolyn Euliano recognizes this crisis and is an advocate for change.

Carolyn and her husband Neil Euliano, Ph.D., believe it is important for women to be present in the STEM field and have created an Endowed Scholarship at UCF to make it happen.

The Euliano’s entered an agreement with UCF, making a charitable gift for $250,000 to create the Carolyn Euliano Endowed Scholarship in Mathematics. This scholarship will help fund education expenses for women majoring in Mathematics at UCF. Carolyn wants this endowed scholarship to encourage women to stay in the math department and continue with their mathematical studies.

Eileen Swindling

Eileen Swindling PendulumFor the first time in more than 20 years, the pendulum in the Mathematical Science building is swinging back and forth again thanks to the Swindling Family Pendulum Endowment. This $25,000 endowment was given by Eileen Swindling, a UCF Almumna, and her husband to help fund the renovation of the pendulum and will help maintain it for years to come.

“It is an important UCF artifact, not just because of its scientific and historical significance, but also because it glides above the FTU emblem: a memory of our school’s humble beginnings,” Eileen explained. Eileen believes the message of the pendulum is movement and wants to share that message with UCF students to provide them with the same hope and belief it provided her.

Thanks to Eileen Swindling and her family, a new generation of Knights can now see the pendulum swing, enjoy a piece of UCF history and embrace the pendulum’s message as our University continues to grow with spectacular contributions to the world.

Steven Sotloff

Steven SotloffSteven Sotloff studied at UCF from 2002 to 2004, taking journalism classes and writing for the Central Florida Future. During this time he decided to travel to war riddled areas such as Lybia and Syria to give a voice to the voiceless. Before losing his life in September, Sotloff’s parents said that he smuggled a letter to them stating that he wanted to give back.

The Steven Sotloff Memorial Endowed Fund at UCF will provide scholarship support to UCF students majoring in journalism as well as funding for symposia, lectures and other programming to advance journalism and journalism education.

Long time UCF donors, Tony and Sonja Nicholson, have committed to match gifts to the fund up to $25,000.

Scholarship Luncheon

Scholarship LuncheonThe UCF College of Sciences held its third annual Scholarship Luncheon to celebrate its supportive donors and accomplished student scholarship recipients for the 2015-16 academic year. This year the college celebrated awarding 46 scholarships, totaling $94,050 in scholarship aid.

The event provided a unique opportunity for scholarship recipients to have lunch with the donors who provide their financial support. Donors, recipients, and college faculty and staff chatted about future endeavors and pursuits as they enjoyed a meal in the Cape Florida Ballroom in the UCF Student Union. Dr. Michael Johnson, dean of the UCF College of Sciences, and other college representatives at the event thanked the donors for their generous support.

“Each year, more of our students need scholarship support. Scholarships reduce the financial pressure so academic pursuits can take priority. Every one of our scholarships was established out of a true generosity of spirit. I am grateful for each person who makes an investment in our students,” said Dr. Michael Johnson.

Dr. Duane De Freese

Dr. De Freese supports sea turtle research and conservation. Dr. De Freese currently serves as the Executive Director of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program. Watch a video explaining his gift below.

Clay Newbill 

Clay NewbillClay Newbill supports students who study radio and television production at the UCF Nicholson School of Communication. Newbill is a pioneer and innovator of reality television beginning as a member of “The Real World” producing team. Since then, he has executive produced such popular programs as “The Bachelor” and most recently, “Shark Tank.” He created the Hollywood Internship Program for UCF students, which hires interns for Newbill’s company and subsidizes the cost of their internship in Los Angeles.

For more information or to establish an endowed fund, please contact:

Ray Allen
Ray Allen
Director of Development