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Gift Honors Late UVM Math Professor Kenneth Gross, Math Teacher Tony Trono

Record-Breaking Donation Endows the Governor's Institutes Program They Founded

Pine trees at sunset on the UVM Green
Photo: Sally McCay

A press conference and reception held on June 28 at the University of Vermont Davis Center brought together dozens of students, family members, math lovers and UVM faculty as the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont received an historic endowment that will fund math acceleration for future generations of Vermont students.

Kenneth Gross, a nationally renowned UVM professor of mathematics, and Tony Trono, a visionary and popular high school mathematics teacher, originally founded the Vermont Math, Science, and Technology High School Summer Institute more than two decades ago to fill educational gaps for Vermont’s most promising math students. Since becoming part of the Governors Institutes in 2002, the program continues to inspire and prepare hundreds of young Vermonters to pursue advanced studies and careers in mathematical fields.

Tony Trono and family members of late founder Kenneth Gross were on hand as the institute was rechristened “The Kenneth I. Gross and Anthony Trono Governor’s Institute on Mathematical Sciences.”

“Ken was committed to providing enrichment opportunities for students who are talented in mathematics without regard to potential barriers,” said Mary Lou Gross. “Our family is pleased that through the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont he and Tony Trono will be remembered for their dedication to students and to the teaching and learning of mathematics.”

The quarter of a million dollar endowment by the Gross family will fund programming and tuition scholarships to ensure that high school mathematicians in Vermont will continue to benefit from the Institute’s advanced summer mathematics programs without regard to ability to pay or geography.

The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont is a 35-year old nonprofit dedicated to providing world- class advanced learning opportunities across a wide range of topics to Vermont students who otherwise would lack access to in-depth resources due to geography or income.

Gross was came to UVM in 1987 as chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. In addition to creating the high summer institute with Trono, he also founded the Vermont Mathematics Initiative (VMI) in 1999 to improve k-12 mathematics and statistics education, which became a model program nationally. 

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