Now, more about the “Crisafi Challenge”. I received my Ph.D. from the College of Pharmacy in 1956. For many years following graduation, I wanted to give-back to my college, but was not in the financial position to do so. I had received scholarship assistance, while attending graduate school, and I felt it would be a gratifying experience to play even a small role in helping others in need of financial assistance. Thinking back, my very first donation to the College of Pharmacy was $100 in the 1960s. Many years have past since that first donation of $100…those years have been good years for me and my family…and I’m so grateful that during those years, I remained connected to our alma mater.
Within the past ten years or so, I have made major gifts to the College of Pharmacy. I felt, however, I had still not done enough for those deserving students who wanted to attend our excellent college of pharmacy, but needed financial help to do so. Many of these students are from states outside of Florida, and have the extra burden of out-of-state tuition. I found myself harboring nagging thoughts of wanting to setup a donor program to raise funds to help these students. The donor program I envisioned would apply 100% of the donations received to scholarships and nothing else. I felt strongly that such a donor program would be embraced by most of the alumni of the College of Pharmacy. I would name the program the “Crisafi Challenge”, not in the context of a combative challenge, but instead, in the context of a supportive challenge. It all made sense to me…when alumni see other alumni offering support to a worthy cause, they themselves will be motivated to offer their own support. That indeed happened, as is witnessed by the success the Crisafi Challenge has had in both its inarguable year in 2015 and its second year in 2016. Alumni, faculty, and friends have stepped-up and donated to a level which exceeded the challenged amount in both of those years. Donors have expressed their willingness to contribute to the Crisafi Challenge based on two important facts; the first being that their donation is being matched dollar-for-dollar, and the second being that every penny raised is being used for scholarships and nothing else…donors recognize this program as being a win-win fund raiser for the COP as well as for well deserving young students seeking to join the profession of pharmacy.
In closing please allow me to say – The success of the Crisafi Challenge must be credited to our wonderful and caring donors. They alone must be credited with the rise of the program to a level of excellence. I see the possibility of it rising to a point of becoming the best alumni donor program at the University of Florida. That would be a prestigious honor for the College of Pharmacy, the alumni, the student body, the faculty, and, of course, for me personally. To accomplish this, I have endowed the Crisafi Challenge scholarship program with a $1,000,000 gift, which will allow the program to exist in perpetuity. Although I will be gone, the Challenge will last forever…I’m happy and very satisfied with that outcome!