Through the years, THE PLAYERS Championship has continually invested in University of North Florida students who are the first in their family to attend college. Now, THE PLAYERS has pledged to double THE PLAYERS Championship Endowed First Generation Scholarship at UNF to reach $1.5 million.
The PGA Tour established THE PLAYERS Championship Endowed First Generation Scholarship at UNF in 2009. Over the years, they built the endowment to $750,000, and the organization recently pledged an additional $750,000 over the next five years, doubling the endowment to reach $1.5 million.
“Education is a core charitable focus of THE PLAYERS Championship,” said Jared Rice, executive director of THE PLAYERS. “This $750,000 endowment will help alleviate some of the financial burden many first-generation students face while attending college. In April 2011, THE PLAYERS announced a commitment to generate $50 million for youth-related charities over 10 years and along with our staff and nearly 2,000 volunteers, we’re proud to say we’re on our way to achieving that goal ahead of schedule.”
The endowed scholarship at UNF currently supports 23 First Generation scholars annually. By making this investment and commitment to education, the scholarship has the potential to support over 50 scholars annually in five years. To date, more than 3,700 students at the university have been part of the First Generation Scholarship Program, receiving nearly $8 million in scholarship funds.
“Thanks to THE PLAYERS, First Generation students are given an opportunity to achieve their dream of a college education and experience transformational learning opportunities at UNF,” said Ann McCullen, vice president for University Development and Alumni Engagement at UNF. “This scholarship gift creates a powerful ripple effect and lasting legacy in the community by inspiring others in a student’s family to pursue a college degree.”
First Generation is a matching gift program, meaning charitable contributions will leverage additional funds for student scholarships from the state of Florida. Approved by the Florida legislature in 2006, the First Generation Scholarship Program is uniquely designed to target those most in need by reaching Florida residents who are the first generation in their families to attend college.
Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit Northeast Florida charities and have totaled more than $84 million since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977, including a record $8.5 million generated in 2016.