RELEASE: UConn Alumnus Featured in Statewide Campaign to Promote Scholarships

WNPR spots part of effort to double amount raised over next five years

Storrs, Conn. – A Darien business executive and University of Connecticut alumnus is featured in a new series of National Public Radio advertisements promoting an effort to substantially increase scholarships and the number of students receiving them at UConn.

The reoccurring segments, featuring Dan Toscano, begin April 20 and will run for a six-week period. They describe how scholarships have helped transformed thousands of students’ lives.

[Listen to Dan Toscano’s NPR segment on SoundCloud]

The Board of Directors of the UConn Foundation, of which Toscano is a member, recently endorsed a five-year, $150 million fundraising initiative that will double the amount of financial support that the Foundation raises for the benefit of the UConn student body.

Foundation President Josh Newton said the funds, which will include merit and need-based scholarships, will be necessary to ensure that financial aid is available for a student body that is expected to grow over the next decade.

“As UConn adds students, the need for more financial aid will only increase,” Newton said. “I think philanthropy can and will play an increasingly important role in keeping UConn affordable and accessible. Dan and his wife Tresa are great ambassadors in this effort, spreading our message of trying to help as many students as we can.’’

Toscano said, “Several years ago my wife and I established two scholarships for students at UConn. Both scholarships are need-based and one is for someone of Latino origin. We created these scholarships for two basic reasons,’’ said Toscano.

“First, we believe that helping to make college accessible to all students—especially those who don’t come from wealthy backgrounds—can impact a family for generations,’’ said Toscano. “I’m thrilled to report that the fund has already helped a young man from Bridgeport become the first person in his family to graduate from college. He now has a good job as an accountant, in Connecticut.’’

The University offers aid to more than 10,000 students each year. The new initiative calls for the Foundation to increase the amount raised for scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships to $30 million annually.

“The Foundation’s initiative will not only help UConn attract students, but it will also combat student debt levels after graduation,” said Newton. “Right now 83 percent of UConn undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Scholarships truly are transforming lives.”

The average student loan debt at UConn for 2013 graduates was $24,600—nearly 20 percent lower than the national average ($30,000) for students at private and public institutions.