Hearst Foundations grant benefits FDU initiativesHearst Foundations recently awarded Fairleigh Dickinson University $500,000 to fund renovations to science labs in Dickinson Hall on the Metropolitan Campus ($400,000) and Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) scholarships on both New Jersey campuses ($100,000).
The University receives half of the financing this year and half next year.
“Hearst has been supporting the University for many years,” says Richard Reiss, senior vice president for university advancement. “They began more than dozen years ago by endowing a scholarship fund for EOF students. But they have also donated $500,000 to the John and Joan Monninger Center for Learning and Research at the College at Florham and $250,000 to nursing lab renovations at the Metropolitan Campus.”
This most recent grant was the result of several discussions between the University and Hearst about meeting the University’s most pressing needs.
“It’s wonderful that they continue to support our EOF students, and the new technology and equipment in the science labs will help us strengthen our core science programs at the Metropolitan Campus,” says Reiss.
Funding from Hearst will also support the purchase of new sinks, countertops, hoods and benches in the science labs.
The Hearst Foundations grant will support the upgrade of science laboratories in Dickinson Hall (right) on the Metropolitan Campus. (Photo by Bill Kennedy)
“We want to make the best and smartest use of the laboratory space that we have,” says University College Dean Patti Mills. “Our aim is to upgrade the lab equipment and space in a way that promotes student learning and enhances the collaborative research between faculty and students. This commitment is a significant milestone towards achieving that goal.”
The EOF donation also “makes a difference, allowing students to stay here and do well,” says Marjorie Hall, director of the University’s EOF. “We give funding to students who have some type of serious hardship.”
EOF is a state-sponsored program available on most New Jersey college campuses and is funded through state grants supplemented by individual university grants. This semester, 322 students — most of whom qualify for full Pell, full TAG (Tuition Aid Grant) and EOF funding plus University scholarships — are part of the EOF program. Because of the Hearst Foundation’s contribution to FDU, EOF students are also offered four scholarships per semester, with two recipients at the College of Florham and two at the Metropolitan Campus.
In addition to financial support, all EOF students receive individualized tutoring and counseling, says Hall. “Freshman and sophomores are required to come in weekly, and juniors and seniors bi-weekly, to discuss the academic, career, financial and personal issues they’re facing.” These support services help ensure that students with economic and educational disadvantages succeed at FDU.
“Where there is a great need and alignment between that need and a donor — be it a corporation, foundation or individual donor — there’s an opportunity to have a real impact at the University,” says Reiss. “We accomplished that through the capital campaign, FDU Now, and now we’re continuing to do so through the current Campaign for Scholarships.”