By Jessica Peterson, director of marketing and development for the Alumni Association
Did you know that the U Alumni Association awards more than $550,000 in student scholarships every year? A variety of undergraduate and graduate scholarships are awarded. Applications for the 2016-17 academic year are currently available online at alumni.utah.edu/scholarships. Feb. 5, 2016, is the deadline for the majority of scholarships.
Revenue from University of Utah license plates, as well as generous contributions from U alumni and friends, makes it possible for the Alumni Association to continue increasing the number of scholarships it gives out each year. U alumnus Alan Wood (B.A. ’80) is committed to giving back through scholarships. The Wood family has a proud history of Utah graduates, including Alan Wood’s late mother and father, on down to Alan Wood’s three sons, Jeff (B.S. ’07), Rob (EX ’04) and Eric (B.S. ’11). Alan Wood remembers the call he received from his son Jeff Wood this past spring, which set everything in motion.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Jeff Wood completed a finance degree at the School of Business. Since moving to Virginia, he has continued to stay engaged by serving on the board of the Washington D.C. alumni chapter. The D.C. chapter is one of 17 alumni chapters throughout the country organized by the U Alumni Association. In addition to hosting events and activities that bring alumni together in these areas, many chapters raise money to give scholarships to incoming U students from their states. This year the D.C. chapter leaders organized a golf tournament to raise scholarship funds.
Jeff Wood picked up the phone to reach out to his father. Alan Wood remembers it like this: “Dad, what would you think of making a $10,000 gift?” That’s pretty much all it took, Alan Wood remembers. “Jeff is very persuasive.” Alan Wood willingly accepted the invitation. “I feel like I have a real connection to the University of Utah, because I feel I had a great experience,” Alan Wood says. “I had phenomenal professors. They brought very practical, real business experience to the classroom.”
Immediately after graduating from the U, Alan Wood went to work for his father’s real estate development company. “He was pretty amazed at what I could do,” Alan Wood says. His education at the School of Business had prepared him well for his new responsibilities. Just last month, Alan Wood and his wife, Kristin, gifted $60,000 to the School of Business to establish an endowed scholarship fund, providing ongoing support for promising students.
Reflecting on his father, Jeff Wood
says, “I think it’s a great example of generosity and payback.” Expressing a desire to continue walking in his father’s footsteps, he says, “Hopefully I’ll be able to follow his lead.”
To learn more about scholarships currently available through the U Alumni Association, visit alumni.utah.edu/scholarships.
Header image: Depicted above are some of the 2015 Alumni Association scholarship recipients.