Student loan debt is one of the top challenges facing college graduates today. Reducing that debt is one of the top priorities for Our Legacy, Our Place: The Campaign for UMass Lowell.
Alumni—as well as faculty, staff and other UML supporters--have embraced that priority. Since 2010, they’ve almost doubled the number of endowed scholarships and other funds that support student learning. In December, the total number of endowed funds crossed the 500 mark, when alumna Sandy Green ’86 endowed a new engineering scholarship.
“Donors like Sandy know the value of a UMass Lowell education, and they want to make sure that students today have the same opportunities they did,” says John Feudo, vice chancellor for university advancement. Green, who earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in communications and information systems, is the founder and CEO of n-Link Corporation, a successful IT services firm based in Bend, Ore.
UML students graduate with an average of $32,000 in loan debt. “Our goal is to reduce that debt to well under $30,000,” says Chancellor Jacquie Moloney. “Endowed scholarships help us do that.”
More than a dozen alumni have endowed scholarships during the current fiscal year, including James ’88 and Amy Regan, Gregory ’92 and Fadwah ’91 Chiklis, and Cheryl ’66 and Paul ’64 Katen. The Kronos Corporation, already a major university supporter, endowed a new scholarship to benefit Lowell High School graduates. Faculty members Robert Giles, chair of the Physics Department, and Paula Rayman, emerita director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, endowed funds.
And family members and colleagues of Christine Dunlap, former executive director for strategic communications, endowed a memorial scholarship in her honor.
For more information about how to endow a scholarship, go to www.uml.edu/ourlegacy-ourplace or call the Office of University Advancement at 978-934-2223.