Retired UF prof gives $1M to scholarship program


Published: Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 6:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 6:47 p.m.

A retired University of Florida professor has donated $1 million to support UF’s Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars program so students from low-income backgrounds can follow his path to higher education.

The gift from Paul Nicoletti, D.V.M., will create graduate-level scholarships in UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine, a part of UF Health. He made the gift during a four-month fundraising drive that collected $15 million for the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars program.

Donors rallied to support the program after an anonymous donor gave $10 million in October to rename it in honor of Bernie and Chris Machen, UF’s president and his wife.

Nicoletti’s own life experience inspired his gift. A $150 Sears Roebuck scholarship took him from his family farm in Missouri and helped pay his way through the University of Missouri. He later obtained a master’s degree in epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A professor emeritus of infectious diseases in UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine, he spent 28 years at UF as a faculty member and adviser to many students. While there, he endowed a scholarship for students with financial need who are interested in public health.

After retiring in 2003, he endowed another need-based scholarship for students interested in careers in food animal medicine.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top