1972 education grad issues challenge, dollar for dollar, for alumni to reconnect with EduGator Nation
Anita Zucker (BAE ’72) knows a good investment when she sees one, and she’s quick to spring into action and lend her support when a worthy cause attracts her attention. As a history-making businesswoman, committed philanthropist and avid University of Florida supporter, Zucker is putting up her own money to prove that EduGator alumni are every bit as wise and responsive when it comes to investing in education—especially by supporting the College of Education at UF.
Zucker hopes to light a fire particularly under young, first-time alumni donors and other education graduates who have not given to the College in the last six years. That’s why she has established the Zucker Alumni Challenge, pledging to match, dollar for dollar, every gift made to the Challenge fund up to a total of $50,000. Zucker’s matching gifts could raise the total fund value to as much as $100,000 in new college support. The donations will go into the Dean’s Excellence Fund to support the College of Education’s greatest needs in areas such as student scholarships, faculty and research support and equipment needs.
“The College of Education has more than 28,000 alumni around the world, and each year through the Florida Fund we reach out to encourage support for the College. While the support we receive is appreciated, the College receives contributions from fewer than 1,500 EduGators, or about 5 percent of our alumni,” Zucker said. “Through the Zucker Alumni Challenge, I want to educate and encourage the more than 20,000 alumni who have never given to the College to consider investing with an annual contribution.”
Anita and her late husband, Jerry Zucker, were both UF alumni and long-time supporters of the university. Anita last year received UF’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her professional accomplishments and charitable service. She is one of Charleston, S.C.’s most involved civic leaders. In 2008, she succeeded her husband as governor (company chair) of the Hudson Bay Company in Canada, becoming the firm’s the first woman chief executive. She also became CEO of the family-owned InterTech company, and owns the Carolina Ice Palace and 50 percent of the South Carolina Stingrays of the East Coast Hockey League.
Anita will work to reconnect EduGators with their College of Education alma mater throughout the Florida Fund annual giving campaign. The Zucker Alumni Challenge will run throughout the current fiscal year, until June 30, 2011. She will be encouraging education alumni through email, direct mail and the Florida Fund telephone program to bring them back into the fold as proud members and generous supporters of the EduGator Nation.