Archive

Stamford Donors Find Joy Creating a Legacy of Philanthropy

Tiffany Ventura Thiele
Tiffany Ventura Thiele

3 min read

Donors Peter ’55 (BUS) and Re’ Telep are committed to supporting UConn Stamford students today – and in the future.

In 2009, the couple established the Telep Family Scholarship to support UConn Stamford students. Recently, the two decided to ensure the scholarship’s longevity by creating an endowed scholarship through their estate plans. For the Teleps, this scholarship is an opportunity to give back and help others move ahead in the world.

“We’re just big believers in education,” said Re’ Telep. “If you’re going to put your money anywhere in this country, it should be toward improving people’s lives so they can improve the country.”

Peter Telep has strong ties to UConn. He entered the University in the second semester of 1952, graduating in three and a half years from the School of Business. Calling his time at UConn “absolutely wonderful,” Peter was drafted into the U.S. Army upon graduation, and after two years of service he began his career in New York in the business and advertising sectors. He met his wife Re’ on a business flight, where Re’ worked as a TWA air hostess, and the couple eventually moved to Stamford and raised two sons.

For years, the Teleps stayed connected with UConn through their giving and by attending alumni events. Then, the couple met with UConn Stamford officials to discuss ways of giving closer to home.

“We always were charity-minded and we decided to look at our giving,” said Peter. “In reappraising everything, we decided that we wanted to increase our giving but give it locally, where we knew that the money was going to go directly to the recipient.”

The Telep Family Scholarship was created soon after. Each year, the scholarship is awarded to two or three full-time undergraduate students enrolled at UConn Stamford.

“That satisfied our reason for giving,” said Peter. “We want to see this place succeed because I think it’s good for the University and it’s good for the city of Stamford.”

The Teleps also felt it was important to support the diversity on campus. In 2015-16, minority students made up 44 percent of UConn Stamford’s student population.

“Peter is first generation in this country, and his parents from Eastern Europe really stressed education,” said Re’. “It was always, ‘Get an education – you’ll do better than we did.'”

Since its creation, the Telep Family Scholarship has had a significant impact on its recipients, including Alena Yaseva ’16 (CLAS). Alena graduated in May with a double major in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. She credits the scholarship for substantially contributing toward her tuition and allowing her to finish her degree on time.

“The Telep Family Scholarship had a tremendous impact on my life,” said Alena. “It gave me an opportunity to finish my undergraduate degree, enroll in graduate school to finish my career goals, and attend great courses throughout my senior year at UConn.”

Alena is just one of the many students that the Teleps have touched with their giving. Now, with their decision to create an endowed scholarship, the Teleps will help students in the Stamford area in perpetuity.

“Basically, [we wanted] to continue our yearly scholarship here,” said Peter. “I think without an education, your prospects in the future are dim. If you’re able to give back and help someone else, it’s a very good feeling.”

In fact, the Teleps consider it a privilege to give – and they hope that others will consider giving as well.

“Once you get involved in the process, it’s a very gratifying feeling,” said Peter. “I think a lot of people think that it has to be a big number. It doesn’t have to be a big number. A lot of little numbers add up to a big number. Every little bit that you can contribute helps someone else move ahead in the world. Certainly, it’s brought us a feeling of joy to be able to help someone.”

As Alena pursues her master’s degree in social work this fall at Columbia University, she is extremely grateful for the Teleps’ generosity.

“Without your help, I wouldn’t have been able to finish my undergraduate degree or enroll at Columbia University,” said Alena of the Teleps. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

Become An Ambassador
Connect with fellow Huskies
Don't miss out on alumni events and more

Related Posts

A Trailblazer For Women’s Philanthropy

A Trailblazer For Women’s Philanthropy

Read More
Alum Shares Knowledge, Creates Scholarship for Stamford Students

Alum Shares Knowledge, Creates Scholarship for Stamford Students

Read More
Transformed Lives: Scholarship Students Say Thank You to Donors

Transformed Lives: Scholarship Students Say Thank You to Donors

Read More

Not sure who to vote for in 2016? UConn professors can help.

Jennifer Doak-Mathewson
Jennifer Doak-Mathewson

2 min read

A Quinnipiac poll recently found that a majority of Republicans in Connecticut support presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Trump is considered to be an “outside of the establishment” candidate—he hasn’t previously held a political office, although he has been known to support politicians in the past. Other Republican outsiders, such as Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, are also showing strong in the polls.

What does this mean for voters? We’ll be hosting an Oct. 21 alumni event in Stamford on the 2016 election, led by political science professor David Yalof and featuring fellow professors Ronald Schurin and Evelyn Simien.

Yalof was gracious enough to offer a sneak peek:

What should we make of Trump’s current popularity? Is he a product of the media or does he truly speak for many Americans?

We have a long tradition in this country of seeking so-called “outsiders” from the normal political establishment for public office, including the presidency. Sometimes generals like Grant and Eisenhower fit the bill. Other times we look to the business world for outsiders—perhaps that explains how businessman Ross Perot garnered nearly 20 percent of the presidential vote in 1992. In that sense, Trump (along with Carson and Fiorina) is invoking this American tradition. Trump probably does represent the true voice of many Americans, but 25 percent of the Republican primary vote amounts to less than 10 percent of the overall population.

With the vast range of information (and misinformation) out there, how can voters sift through the noise to determine where candidates actually stand on issues?

In this age of information saturation it has indeed become harder to determine where candidates truly stand on the issues. Their shifting positions make things harder still. I always urge my students to look at what candidates actually do, rather than what they say. From whom do they accept contributions? How did they vote as younger politicians when they thought nobody was watching? Finally, when they are truly challenged as to their views in unexpected ways, how do they respond off the cuff? In my opinion it’s hard to learn anything of value from pre-vetted, canned answers.

There are currently about 25 viable Republican and Democratic candidates running in the 2016 presidential election. With the huge range of viewpoints represented, what’s the best way to determine the person who most aligns with your viewpoints—especially when watching the debates?

I’m not sure there’s much that can be learned from debates. With so many candidates fighting for limited time, entertainment is at a premium, and not information. I would urge debate watchers to not accept what the candidates say as the gospel. When they refer to a position they took as governor, look up press coverage of the decision to see if you have been given the full story. If someone refers to a troubling video, go on YouTube and watch it yourself.

What can attendees expect from this panel? What are the areas of expertise that will be represented?

I hope attendees learn enough from this panel so that they can evaluate and critically appraise the so-called “Trump effect” for themselves, rather than simply accepting the opinions of others. Is this really so unprecedented? What are the biggest obstacles a Trump candidacy faces? Are Trump’s critics unfairly dismissing his candidacy? How might his lack of political experience actually benefit him with voters in a general election? Do Trump’s position on issues even matter, and if not, what does that tell us about the current state of American politics?

Intrigued? Join us for the 2016 Election discussion in Stamford Oct. 21!
Become An Ambassador
Connect with fellow Huskies
Don't miss out on alumni events and more

Related Posts

UConn to Align Alumni Efforts Within Foundation (UConn Today)

UConn to Align Alumni Efforts Within Foundation (UConn Today)

Read More
UCAA Members: Why a ‘Yes’ Vote Will Strengthen UConn Nation

UCAA Members: Why a ‘Yes’ Vote Will Strengthen UConn Nation

Read More
UConn couple gives to support frontline at UConn Health

UConn couple gives to support frontline at UConn Health

Read More