Executive Director of Communications & Development
PRESS RELEASE: Florida Board of Governors Foundation, Florida-Based Johnson Scholarship Fund Dedicated To Need-Based Scholarships For Students With Disabilities at Public Universities
The Florida Board of Governors Foundation is celebrating the 15th year of providing state university scholarship funds to the 11 public universities for the sole purpose of assisting need-based students with disabilities further their education at one of the state"s 11 public universities through a strong and effective partnership with the Theodore R. & Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation. The total distributed to date is $7.9 million, with awards provided to more than 1,000 students statewide who are pursuing or have graduated with bachelor"s degrees.
There will be a distribution of approximately $300,000 in December for the spring 2011 university terms, and applications are being accepted now.
The Johnson Scholarship Foundation, based in West Palm Beach, Fla., first partnered with the State University System in the 1990s, and major donations from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation have occurred every consecutive year since 1996 to administer and sustain the program. The Johnson Scholarship Foundation underwriting has totaled $6 million, while $2.3 million has been acquired as state matching funds. Florida law provides for eligibility provisions and the state"s funding match, when available. Distributions, from the Florida Board of Governors Foundation to the 11 universities, occurs semi-annually and for the fall and spring terms.
There will be a distribution to the 11 state universities of approximately $300,000 in December for the spring 2011 university terms.
Applications are submitted to the local university or universities where an applicant has been admitted or is pursuing admission.
R. Malcolm Macleod, president of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, said the partnership with the Florida Board of Governors Foundation, Inc., translates to significant opportunities that address a true need.
"The partnership with the State University System makes this scholarship program one of the Johnson Foundation's best," Macleod said. "The State's matching funds [when available from the Legislature] enhance the value of scholarships available for students with disabilities, and the diligent and coordinated effort by the Board of Governors office and university campuses ensures that students applying for this scholarship are well served."
Lynda Page, associate director for Academic and Student Affairs at the Florida Board of Governors, administers the scholarship program with 11 liaisons across the State University System. Page is scheduled to be honored for her work on Tuesday (Oct. 19) evening at a ceremony in Tallahassee recognizing servant leaders who assist students with disabilities. She will be recognized with administrators from Florida A&M University and Florida State University. The event is hosted by FAMU.
Congress designated each October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month to increase the public's awareness of the contributions and skills of American workers with disabilities. This effort to educate the American public about issues related to disability and employment began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to 'National Disability Employment Awareness Month'.
ABOUT THE PARTNERING ORGANIZATIONS:
The Florida Board of Governors Foundation exists as a charitable and educational non-profit organization to "encourage, solicit, receive and administer gifts and bequests of property and funds for scientific, educational and charitable purposes, all for the advancement of the State University System of Florida." For more information, contact Kelly Layman, executive director of communications and development, at 850-245-0466 or Kelly.Layman@flbog.edu.
Through the establishment of the Theodore R. Johnson and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson sought to help future generations of deserving people to educate themselves. Johnson and his wife of 52 years placed great faith in education as a means to help people improve their lives. Mr. Johnson worked his way through college and, after joining United Parcel Service in the 1920s, obtained a Master's in Business Administration at night school. He advanced to become the Vice President of Labor Relations at UPS and served on its Management Committee. He bought shares at every opportunity, the value of which substantially appreciated. Mr. Johnson died in 1993 and his son, Theodore R. Johnson, Jr., became the Foundation"s second President. The Foundation made important advances in the areas of investment management, grant programs and governance. In 2001, Ted Johnson, Jr., and two other founding members of the Board retired, and Macleod, the nephew of Vivian Macleod Johnson, became the Foundation"s third President. The Foundation has continued to mature as an independent and professionally managed organization. Seven of the nine board members are not related to the family and share a passion for its mission and advancement. For more information, see www.jsf.bz.