NEW ORLEANS — A $2 million gift from an anonymous donor will fund undergraduate scholarships at the University of New Orleans (UNO).
The donor, a former adjunct professor in the Department of Management, said, “I made the gift because of my awareness of the unique role that the University plays in New Orleans, and as a public affirmation of my optimism about the continuing growth of the University and its increasing importance to the community.”
The donation to the campus’ 21st Century Scholarship Fund will greatly enhance the University’s ability to offer more financial support to deserving students using private dollars.
“This is a very exciting development for our university,” said UNO president John Nicklow. “We are so thankful for the generosity of the donor; the gift speaks to this person’s deep belief in the value of a degree from the University of New Orleans. This is a credential that provides upward mobility and a career pathway to our students. But our graduates are not the only beneficiaries—our communities are uplifted and transformed as well. This gift will increase access to a University of New Orleans education.”
According to Nicklow, the gift comes at an important time for the city’s only public research university. Total student enrollment has grown in consecutive years for the first time in more than a decade and the university has expanded its research portfolio. Total external grant and contract expenditures rose from $19.3 million in fiscal year 2016 to $33.6 million in fiscal year 2019—an increase of 74-percent.
“A gift like this is significant because we are accelerating our fundraising efforts as we make plans to undertake a comprehensive campaign that will transform our institution,” Nicklow said. “Supporters need to see that we are making measurable progress and building momentum. This philanthropic support helps validate our upward trajectory.”
The 21st Century Scholarship Fund supports undergraduate students at the University of New Orleans who have unmet financial need.