Science, engineering and football all got a boost Tuesday as the University of West Florida announced a major gift from a local family.
At a ceremony at the University's Argonaut Athletic Club, Dr. Brendan Kelly, Vice President of University Advancement at UWF announced a gift of 770 thousand dollars from the family of John and Joan Burr. The majority of the money, over 500 thousand dollars, will go to the College of Science, Engineering and Health. The John Thayer and Joan Ames Burr Undergraduate Research Endowment will support high impact and undergraduate research initiatives. Dr. Mike Huggins, the Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Health at UWF, thanked the Burr family saying gifts like these truly make a difference for students.
The rest of the money will go to the University of West Florida football program. Kelly announced that the 250 thousand dollars from the Burrs is the largest donation to the school's fledgling football program. UWF Athletic Director Dave Scott said the money will go a long way toward helping UWF football join the other championship programs at the university.
Speaking on behalf of his parents and the Burr family, Timothy Burr said that while his parents were prolific givers...they did so quietly and was hesitant to participate in today's announcement. However he said he hoped the event would spur others to give to the school.
The University of West Florida will commemorate the Burr's legacy endowment by renaming the UWF Field House lobby in their memory. The announcement said field house lobby will be named after the Burrs in perpetuity.