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Freelander Award Honors the Greater Worcester Community Foundation

June 15, 2016
By: Kristen O'Reilly

The Worcester State Foundation presented the 2016 I. Robert Freelander Award to the Greater Worcester Community Foundation to recognize 20 years of generous financial support to Worcester State. All totaled, GWCF has awarded more than $1.7 million to WSU through a wide variety of its donor-advised funds and competitive grant programs.

“The Greater Worcester Community Foundation’s giving has had a tremendous impact on Worcester State’s role both on campus and as a leader in the Worcester community,” said Vice President for University Advancement Thomas McNamara in presenting the award at the Foundation’s annual meeting on Thursday, June 9. “This financial support has significantly increased our capacity to educate, empower, and improve the lives of thousands of students and faculty, families and children, and residents throughout Worcester County.”

McNamara outlined a list of WSU projects that have received GWCF support, including:

  • The Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing, which has received over $873,000 from GWCF in grant funding to support:
    • A Master of Science in Nursing degree program with a concentration in nursing education
    • The Fairlawn Nurse Scholars Scholarship Program, which provides financial aid and community service opportunities for recipients
    • The Future of Nursing: RN-BS in Nursing program, a new partnership with UMass Memorial Medical Center to strengthen the healthcare workforce and improve patient outcomes
    • Updated clinical skills and health assessment labs.
  • Funding of $157,138 to the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences to help launch the new CHIPs In Action partnership with Worcester’s Division of Public Health. This initiative joined faculty and students in interdisciplinary teams to develop solutions for Worcester’s health priorities and help the city to become the healthiest in the Commonwealth by 2020.
  • Over $308,000 in funding to support the Latino Education Institute (LEI) K-12 education and family initiatives like Club Educación (Club E), ENLACE, and programs devoted to Teens, Early Childhood, and Family Literacy.
  • Over $349,000 in funding to support other academic and community-based initiatives. In partnership with the Worcester Public Schools (WPS), K-12 students and their teachers have participated in our Green Chemistry STEM programming, for example.
  • Over $33,000 to support K-12 therapeutic art programs, expanded youth classes, and environmental and accessibility studio improvements at the Worcester Center for Crafts.

Established in 2013, the I. Robert Freelander Award is given to individuals or organizations whose professional accomplishments, devotion, and philanthropic support of Worcester State University represent and reflect the principles, ideals, spirit and benevolence of the late I. Robert Freelander, a founding member of the Worcester State Foundation.

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation has been a philanthropic leader serving the greater Worcester region for more than 40 years. Since its founding in 1975, the organization has distributed more than $100 million in grants supporting community priorities—economic security, proper housing, quality health care, and sound education.

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