“It’s really important for us to live those values rather than just say them,” Spina said.
The gifts are $1.25 million from a local couple who wishes to remain anonymous and $1 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Judy and Fred Wilpon Family Foundation.
With the $1 million grant from the Bloomberg and Wilpon foundations, UD will become part of the Kessler Scholars Collaborative and create the UD Sinclair Academy Kessler Scholars program for first-generation college students. The first cohort of 20 students will enroll in fall 2023, according to UD.
UD noted Kessler Scholars receive financial aid; personalized services such as mentoring, resume review and graduate school prep; an orientation program to build a network of support; stipends for expenses that contribute to student success, including travel to internships, graduate school entrance exam fees, study abroad and more; and other benefits and programming designed to foster academic, professional and personal growth.
Spina said the gift from the Bloomberg and Wilpon foundations felt like a recognition of the work that UD is doing, but the local gift is meaningful because it’s an investment in Dayton’s future.
The students who go through the UD Sinclair Academy are more likely to be from Dayton, and more invested in the community, Spina noted. Additionally, the students who are in the program are more likely to graduate from college, according to UD. The Kessler Scholars program also invests in additional support for underprivileged students to graduate.
“This is really an investment in the region, in terms of future leaders who are going to be more likely to stay here, work here and contribute here in multiple ways,” Spina said. “It really is a moment of pride and a recognition of both the local impact and the national reputation that Sinclair and UD built.”
For more details and to apply, go to https://udayton.edu/academy/index.php.