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) – the second-largest university in Houston – 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 more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).
For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.