LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Polytechnic University Foundation has announced that it is the recent recipient of two major charitable gifts to benefit the University and student scholarships. Saddle Creek Logistics Services, a supply chain solutions firm and one of the University’s industry partners, has pledged $1 million to support scholarships and the University’s mission. Additionally, an anonymous donor is offering a $5 million challenge match, pledging dollar-for-dollar cash contributions to match what the foundation raises. This challenge effectively makes the Saddle Creek pledge a $2 million contribution.
“We are very happy to receive such generous support of the University and its mission to help prepare 21st century learners in the advanced fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Chief Operating Officer Ava L. Parker. “These two leadership gifts will help the University foundation meet its goal to provide scholarships for the inaugural class and achieve its vision of innovation in STEM education during this key early phase of operations.”
“The University foundation is thrilled to receive these pivotal gifts in the first six months of our first-ever fundraising campaign,” said Maggie Mariucci, interim director of the foundation. “We hope the donations will inspire others to give and help us realize our full challenge match potential.”
The challenge match is worth up to $5 million, but those funds will only be released as the foundation receives additional contributions. The anonymous donor behind this challenge has pledged to release, dollar-for-dollar, cash contributions that will support scholarships, the foundation and the University’s educational mission.
“Through this match, it is our intent to encourage and strengthen philanthropic support for Florida’s first polytechnic university,” said the anonymous donor. “We recognize the importance of STEM education and the role Florida Polytechnic University can play in advancing innovation in our state, our nation and the world.”
The $1 million pledge by Saddle Creek, which will jumpstart the challenge, will establish the Saddle Creek Logistics Services Endowed Scholarship Fund and provide general support for the University and the foundation. In addition, the donation will fund a University-level sponsorship for the upcoming “LAUNCH” weekend prior to the start of classes. The University welcomes its inaugural class on Aug. 25.
“We believe having a STEM-based university nearby producing immediately employable people provides tremendous value in Polk County, the state of Florida and beyond,” said Cliff Otto, CEO of Saddle Creek Logistics Services. “Saddle Creek is proud to support Florida Polytechnic in the education and training of young people in the science of logistics and supply chain.”
Mr. Otto is a member of the University Foundation Board of Directors. Saddle Creek Logistics is among more than 50 companies to partner with the University in a collaborative effort between the University and industry leaders to prepare Florida Polytechnic students for careers in high-tech industries.
For LAUNCH weekend sponsorship opportunities, please email Launch@floridapoly.edu. To learn more about how to help the University achieve its innovative mission, please email Advancement@floridapoly.edu.