University of Vermont

The Honors College

Message from the Dean - October 2012

Abu Rizvi

"My family didn't have the financial means to allow me to attend UVM," recalled Alice Ford '10, recently. "But then I got a letter saying I had been awarded the Brennan Scholarship, and that's what made it possible for me to come here." Alice was speaking at the announcement of a substantial addition to the Brennan Family Scholarships, which she received in all four years at UVM. While at UVM, Alice took part in summer undergraduate research in the lab of Prof. Joe Schall. She is now in the third year of the M.D./Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania. Alice's story illustrates our two main goals in the Honors College: to attract the best students to UVM and to give them the opportunity to do their best work. The new Brennan gift and an equally welcome one by Julie Simon Munro '86 help us accomplish these goals much more easily.

UVM alums Rob ('83) and Carolyn ('82) Brennan and their family made a wonderful million-dollar commitment to our students. Half of the Brennans' gift goes to augment their valuable family scholarships, which are essential in attracting students, and will allow us to triple the number of students receiving the Brennan Family Scholarship. The other half goes to the summer research fellowships, in which students under the mentorship of a faculty member conduct research that allows them to extend and apply what they've been learning in the classroom. Rob and Carolyn Brennan's gift will allow us to increase by 50% the number of students we can support for summer research on a permanent basis.

A generous half-million dollar gift from Julie Simon Munro '86 will fund the Simon Family Public Research Fellowships. The fellowships had been tried successfully in a pilot program last year. The gift will make it possible for up to seven students to perform community-based research under the mentorship of a faculty member each summer. In an article in the UVM Foundation's Annual Report, Julie Simon Munro related her motivation in making this gift, saying, "I have a strong belief in the Honors College's role in attracting the best and brightest students to the University. This gift will provide talented and motivated students an opportunity to do community-based research that will enrich their educational experience, as well as contribute to the welfare of the communities in which these fellowships take place."

The Brennan and Munro gifts both increase student access to opportunities and allow them to succeed at UVM and beyond. They thus accord with the "access to success" theme announced by Tom Sullivan at his recent installation as UVM's 26th president. We are grateful for the visionary generosity of our donors and, as a result, can look forward to hearing many more stories such as Alice's in years to come.

I hope you enjoy this issue of our newsletter. I look forward to hearing from you.

Last modified October 29 2012 08:53 AM