$700,000 raised for UNF coronavirus relief scholarship

UNF Foundation board member also pledges $50,000 matching gift


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of North Florida community has already committed almost $700,000 in direct funds for the University of North Florida’s Student Emergency Relief Fund and scholarships to assist students facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The UNF community has come together in unprecedented ways to assist our students during this challenging time,” UNF President David Szymanski said.

The UNF Student Emergency Relief Fund was created in mid-March to provide immediate financial assistance to students dealing with unfortunate housing situations, food insecurity, employment issues and other personal challenges during the COVID-19 crisis. To date, over $420,000 has already been contributed to relief funding, including commitments from every UNF vice president, the deans of each college, a dozen members of the University’s Board of Trustees, the UNF Foundation, the UNF Student Government and the University Police Department.

Szymanski also recently announced that he will be taking a 15% salary reduction for the remainder of this fiscal year and his office’s operating budget will be reduced by 65% next fiscal year to fund over $250,000 in new scholarships and need-based aid.

“The pledge of financial support by so many members of our university community is a true testament to the heart of UNF,” Szymanski said. “The coronavirus pandemic is having a devasting economic impact on many of our students and these funds and scholarships will provide the critical financial support to those who need it most.”

“Recognizing that this is a very challenging time for many, we are so appreciative of President Szymanski’s leadership in spearheading this effort and the participation of my fellow board members to secure the most funding and financial assistance possible to help UNF students,” said Kevin Hyde, chairman of the UNF Board of Trustees.

In addition to the dollars raised so far, UNF Foundation Board members Drs. Anne and Robert Lufrano have offered to match up to $50,000 in total for future gifts to the Student Emergency Relief Fund.

For more information on donating to the Student Emergency Relief Fund, visit the annual giving website. For students interested in applying, visit the Student Emergency Relief Fund website.