Growing up in Bell County, Kentucky, sophomore Sydney Lay dreamed of becoming an anesthesiologist but did not know how she would afford her education. Thanks to the Richard Van Florence Committee of 101 Scholarship, Sydney did not have to worry.
"This award has made a tremendous impact on my family and has helped pay my tuition," Sydney said. "When I received this scholarship, it gave me even more of a drive to want to succeed."
As a result, she earned a 4.0-grade point average her freshman year, was a member of the Lewis Honors College, joined several organizations and volunteers though her sorority, Phi Mu, at Kentucky Children's Hospital. She wants to give back to the community that has supported her and empower other students to realize their potential.
The endowed scholarship was created in 2011 by the Committee of 101 to honor their former president, Richard Van Florence. Formed in 1966, the committee serves as ushers in Memorial Coliseum, Rupp Arena and Kroger Field and supports the athletic teams and the University of Kentucky community.
One of the most enthusiastic participants was Donald Englert. For many years, Donald ushered football and basketball games and helped whenever the UK needed a hand. Known as a "true blue Cat," he was passionate about supporting all UK students. Donald passed away on April 13, 2016. Through his estate, he made a meaningful gift to the Committee of 101 scholarship, further enabling students like Sydney to focus on their education.
"We grew up in a log home with no running water or electricity," said Sally Anderson, Donald's sister. "He knew what it was to struggle and never wanted students to face the burden of having to pay back their college loans. This gift was the perfect blend of his interests. He loved Van Florence and loved the UK. This was his way to continue supporting the university long after his death."
"The University of Kentucky is deeply grateful for Mr. Englert's gift," said Mike Richey, vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement. "Gifts like this are how our university advances and prepares our students for a lifetime of success."
You, too, can turn students' dreams of a UK education into a reality through an estate gift. To learn more about your options, contact Gift and Estate Planning at (859) 257-7886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.