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

Barry M. Maloney, president of Worcester State University, said, "Worcester State's relationship with the GWCF helps us and our students succeed. Their generous support has advanced STEM education, addressed workforce gaps and expanded our students' real-world learning by involving them in meeting community needs. We are truly grateful for the partnership."

In presenting the award at the foundation's annual meeting last month, Thomas McNamara, WSU vice president of advancement, outlined some of the university projects that have received GWCF support:

  • The Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing has received more than $873,000 to support a master of science in nursing program; the Fairlawn Nurse Scholars Scholarship Program; The Future of Nursing: RN-BS Education program a new partnership with UMass Memorial Medical Center; and, updated clinical skills and health assessment labs.
  • $157,138 to the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences helped launch the new CHIPs In Action partnership with Worcester's Division of Public Health.
  • More than $308,000 has supported the Latino Education Institute K-12 education and family initiatives like Club Educación, ENLACE, and programs devoted to teens, early childhood and family literacy.
  • More than $349,000 has supported other academic and community-based initiatives, including Worcester public school Green Chemistry STEM programs.
  • The Worcester Center for Crafts received more than $33,000 to support K-12 therapeutic art programs, expanded youth classes, and environmental and accessibility studio improvements.
Established in 2013, the I. Robert Freelander Award is given to people or organizations whose professional accomplishments, devotion and philanthropic support of Worcester State University represents and reflects the principles, ideals, spirit and benevolence of the late I. Robert Freelander, a founding member of the Worcester State Foundation.