Supporting STEM Education at Florida Gulf Coast University

Joey Comunale, Taylor Harris, Wilson Bradshaw, Richard Schulze, Anna Rose Carney, and Victoria Adams

Education is an important philanthropic focus area for Dick Schulze and his family in both Minnesota and Florida. Proving that commitment was a $1.1 million multiyear gift, awarded by The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation in 2015 to Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).

FGCU will use the gift over a five-year period to award student scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programming to future and current teachers. The foundation’s scholarship program officer, Marla Friederichs, participated in student selection. University progress reports are expected each of the five years as a condition of the grant and allows the foundation to track both program and individual student success.

FGCU is the state’s leading knowledge center for Southwest Florida, with five colleges, three schools, 51 undergraduate degrees, 30 minors and 33 graduate programs. Its responsiveness to the region earned the university a No. 1 ranking among all of Florida’s state universities for employment for both their baccalaureate and master’s degree graduates.

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation’s grant award is in direct response to FGCU’s request to fund three alternative pathways for educating STEM teachers. The anticipated outcome of this investment is enabling Southwest Florida schools to hire needed and well-educated teachers for the state’s future workforce.