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UVU Gets First-Ever Endowed MBA Scholarship

19 August 2010 No Comment

August 19, 2010
For Immediate Release

For more information: Nancy Smith (801) 863-8896
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Karissa Neely (801) 863-6351

As the first cohort of Utah Valley University’s new Master’s of Business Administration program enters the halls of the Woodbury Business Building next week, funds are already in place for future scholarships for UVU MBA students.

The first-ever endowed scholarship for master’s degrees at UVU, and specifically for students who are pursuing their MBA, was finalized this week. The Gardner H. Russell Leadership Endowed Scholarship Fund was initiated on Aug. 12., Russell’s 90th birthday, with a private donation of $30,000.

The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, set up the fund as a tribute to Russell, his dedication to excelling in the business world and his example as philanthropist.

Russell, currently a Florida resident, is a retired international business consultant who specialized in finding companies that were broken and then fixing them, then selling them. With his financial success, he later helped fund Southern Virginia University and a college in Puerto Rico, and supported entrepreneurial studies programs at both BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii.

“He was vital in setting up technology trade schools throughout Central America,” the donor said. “These tech schools will result in 700 job-ready graduates this year, who were previously unemployed, or under-employed.”

The donor, who served as an LDS missionary in the Uruguay Paraguay Mission when Russell was its mission president, said he was greatly influenced by Russell and his example.

“This is a small token of appreciation on behalf of man who helped so many,” the donor, who is a local businessman, said. “It’s sure nice to recognize somebody who has selflessly given so much.”

The Russell Scholarship Fund will likely begin awarding scholarships in fall 2012 so that the principal has time to gain interest. When a donor establishes an endowed scholarship, the gift is set aside as the principal of the endowment and is invested by the UVU Foundation. The donor authorizes the Foundation to spend a portion of the endowment earnings on yearly scholarship awards. To protect the principal against inflation, the remaining portion of the earnings is reinvested in the endowment.

“Endowed funds are perpetual gifts, linking past, current and future generations,” said Nancy Smith, director of donor relations and private scholarships at UVU. “An endowment is a lasting tribute – a perpetual gift to education that lasts forever.”

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