Willimantic, Conn: — The Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation has committed up to $40,000 per year for the next three fiscal years to match gift dollars for four endowed scholarships that assist Eastern Connecticut State University students who are planning careers in the sciences. Eastern alumni, parents and friends of the University will be able to restrict their endowed scholarship gifts in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for any of the following scholarships:
The Dr. Robert N. Horrocks and Dr. Daniel B. Switchenko Founders of HPE Endowed Fund supports department needs as well as scholarships. The scholarship will be awarded to a student with financial need majoring in Physical Education or Sport and Leisure Management.
The Dr. J. Donald McLaughlin Endowed Memorial Scholarship was established in 2014 by Dr. Robert Jennette, director of Student Health Services, in memory of the first physician at Eastern. A warm, caring, and exceptional doctor who set the bar high for those who were and are to follow, Dr. McLaughlin had a wry sense of humor, possibly borne out of his time as a naval doctor on a submarine. He died all too soon shortly after retiring in 2000.
The Sidney Vernon, MD, Endowed Scholarship was established in 2000 by Sheridan Vernon to honor the memory of his late father, Dr. Sidney Vernon, who practiced medicine in the Willimantic area for many years. It is intended for a student with financial need who is studying physical science, biology, pre-professional programs or biochemistry, or in an individualized program related to medicine.
The Student Research Scholarship was started in 2014 by Marc Freeman and his wife Amy, both graduates of Eastern. Freeman is a nationally recognized researcher and associate professor and vice chair of the Department of Neurology at the UMass Medical School. He earned his Ph.D. in Biology at Yale and in 2009 became a recipient of a prestigious Early Career Scientist Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, one of only 50 scientists across the country to receive the honor. In spring 2013, Freeman was appointed as an “Investigator” of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a designation that recognizes exceptionally innovative and creative scientists and provides them with lifetime research awards. In Freeman’s case, he is receiving upwards of $1 million annually over the balance of his career to support his research in neurobiology. This scholarship fund will support Eastern students for research work or research internships in the sciences – including room and board, research materials and stipends.
With growing enrollments in the Biology and Biochemistry programs, and the launch of a new Health Science major, the time is right to increase financial support for students enrolling in these programs.
“Not only will we be able to attract more high achievers who want to pursue careers in the health sciences, but the match will help to encourage more alumni and friends to contribute to this special University, knowing that their gifts will be matched dollar for dollar,” said Kenneth DeLisa, vice president of institutional advancement at Eastern.
“The beauty of this matching grant is that Eastern alumni and friends who opt to give to one of the aforementioned endowed funds will be helping us to build the principal of these funds for future generations of Eastern students, while the matching gifts from the Ossen Foundation will be distributed annually to deserving students who fit the criteria, helping to address immediate scholarship needs,” continued DeLisa. “We are most grateful to Eileen Ossen and the Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation for this special opportunity.”
The Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling dreams and achieving heights by enrichment of the mind, body and spirit. This is achieved through support of cultural arts, education and healthcare issues.