Today I received a piece of mail from the University of Florida. That wasn’t unusual, since I, and I’m sure most alumni, receive lots of mail from the university including magazines, current event notices, etc. This piece of mail, however, seemed to be somewhat unusual. The envelope was buff colored, high quality in appearance, and posted with a first-class Forever stamp. It just appeared to be more important than the usual letters I receive from UF. I put it aside unopened. After finishing my “junk-mail” task, I opened the UF letter and was surprised to see it was from President Fuchs.
I had previously spoken to President Fuchs on two occasions. The first, in 2016, when I was invited to watch the Homecoming game in the President’s box. He was greeting visitors at the entrance of the President’s suite. On that very afternoon, I was told that the 2016 “Crisafi Challenge” numbers came in at more than $55,000. That was $15,000 more than the challenge goal. Needless to say, I was not only delighted with the success of the campaign, but elated at the generosity of the pharmacy alumni and so many of my friends who had contributed to the 2016 “Crisafi Challenge”. So, after shaking the President’s hand, I made it a point to tell him I was the sponsor of the “Crisafi Challenge” which raised over $55,000 in only ten days. I made sure to qualify that every cent raised is used for scholarships for Pharm.D. candidates who have their hearts set on attending our great University. I had to talk fast because behind me there was a line of people also waiting to greet the President. I thought I got my point across, but I’m not totally sure if I did or did not.
More recently, on May 1st, at the 2017 Pharmacy Commencement exercises, I again talked with President Fuchs. This time in private, and he congratulated me on receiving the “UF 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award”. He said my vision and success with such a unique fund raising program was to be complimented. He added that he vaguely remembers hearing about the “Crisafi Challenge” some time back. That was good enough for me!
But I digress…getting back to President’s Fuchs unexpected letter. It was so meaningful to me to read his words. I guess, especially so because of my age. He had confirmed in his letter that the “Crisafi Challenge” was a legacy scholarship program that will forever generate scholarships for deserving and needy students who have a dream of becoming pharmacists.
In my own mind, President Fuchs’ words are more about the wonderful alumni and friends who donate to the “Crisafi Challenge” than about me. If it were not for those loyal donors, depicted on the Testimonial Pages of this website, this letter would never have been written. Thank you, donors for what you have done to build an everlasting scholarship program at the UF College of Pharmacy!
With the chance of being presumptuous, I have posted the letter for your reading pleasure.