Photo by Sam Yang, 2021.
The UVM Foundation is now supporting two fundraising campaigns: SOAR: The Campaign for Student Success at UVM and SOLVE: The Campaign for Breakthrough Research at UVM. Together, these two initiatives will create a wave of powerful support across the University, helping UVM fulfill all aspects of its Amplifying Our Impact strategic vision.
Photo by Sam Yang, 2021.
Wool Pellet Research
Researchers at UVM’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture are working on a novel approach to supporting Vermont’s sheep farmers by exploring a new use for raw, low-grade wool that is often discarded as waste. When formed into pellets, this wool becomes an effective vegetable fertilizer that slowly releases nitrogen for plants, contains virtually no phosphorous, and sequesters carbon in the soil. It’s a win for farmers and the environment. With donor support, the pilot program is scaling up production of wool pellets and conducting more extensive research trials on their benefits to farmers and gardeners.
Gund Catalyst Awards
In February, the Gund Institute for Environment announced $250,000 in Gund Catalyst Awards for two research projects targeting critical environmental issues. These seed grants will launch new UVM research on renewable energy transitions in rural America, and on agroecological soil management in partnership with organic coffee farmers in Mexico and Guatemala. In just five years, the Gund Catalyst Award program has provided over $1 million in startup funds, supporting 22 innovative projects and more than 100 UVM scholars. These projects have inspired real-world action—and generated over $14 million in external grants to UVM, a remarkable return on the investment.
Class of 1976 Scholarship
Members of the UVM Class of 1976 have established a scholarship fund to commemorate their 45th reunion in 2021. Skip Beitzel ’76 led the volunteer fundraising effort that raised a serendipitous $76,000 from more than 50 donor households, far surpassing the group’s goal of $50,000. The Class of 1976 Scholarship is now permanently endowed and will provide support to UVM undergraduate students every year. “While many of us weren’t able to gather in person as a class to celebrate, by creating this scholarship together, we have cemented our legacy at UVM for generations to come,” said Beitzel.
Think College Vermont
Housed at the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion at UVM, Think College Vermont is a small, innovative, and inclusive program for students with disabilities seeking a college experience and a rewarding career path. With help from philanthropic contributions, the program provides academic enrichment, socialization, independent living and self-advocacy skills, and work experience and career skills. Students attend UVM with the help of peer mentors, personalized learning opportunities, and a robust social and emotional support network. Participants take between nine and 18 credits to earn a Certificate of Professional Studies. Ten years after its inception, the program boasts 14 current students and 32 alumni from across Vermont.