Gift from PNC Foundation Keeping UHD Students Connected
Foundation's Gift Supporting Student Technology Needs
By Sheryl E. Taylor
It was a series of serendipitous meetings that a connection was made.
As longtime supporters of education and more specifically, early childhood education, PNC Bank’s Client & Community Relations Director Linda Nunnery continually found herself attending the same education-focused events as the University of Houston-Downtown team.
“After running into one another over and over again at these events, we developed a great relationship with the UHD team and an understanding of how the school’s values aligned with our own,” said Nunnery. “While there wasn’t an immediate funding opportunity that fit within our philanthropic priorities, we’ve kept in touch over the last couple of years.”
The impact of COVID in Greater Houston revealed an opportunity for PNC and UHD to come together to support students who have an educational technology need. PNC provided a $20,000 grant through the PNC Foundation to the UHD’s Gator Emergency Fund to help ensure students who need it have access to internet connectivity while they are away from campus and the classroom.
“Once we learned about the impact COVID-19 was having on UHD students, we knew this was our opportunity to work together,” said Julie Sudduth, PNC Regional President for Houston. “We are so proud to be supporting the Gator Emergency Fund, as it provides critical resources, such as hardware or software, to students who need it most.”
PNC has partnerships with several higher education institutions across the bank’s footprint; however, UHD is the only relationship thus far in Texas. Since formalizing its presence in the Houston market a little over two years ago, PNC has invested about $2 million across Greater Houston with local non-profits and organizations.
“Thanks, in large part, to our outstanding corporate partners like PNC, the Gator Emergency Fund has empowered many UHD students to persevere through this most difficult year,” said Jacob Lipp, Director of UHD Advancement.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.