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UNH Alum Makes $2M Gift to Support STEM Scholarships
DURHAM, N.H. – Bob Winot ’71 has pledged more than $2 million of his estate to students in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) at the University of New Hampshire. His gift will ensure several students every year receive free tuition.
“Student success is at the heart of everything we do in CEPS and this gift will help well-deserving students focus on achieving that success,” said Wayne Jones, dean of CEPS. “Generous alumni like Bob understand the hard work that goes into paying for college; he did that hard work himself 50 years ago. His gift will help future generations of students enjoy the benefits of a UNH CEPS education.”
The scholarship will be awarded to New Hampshire or Vermont students who demonstrate financial need and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
As a college freshman, Winot worked a 40-hour week at the General Electric plant in Somersworth as part of its apprenticeship program. The six-year pathway to a bachelor of science degree meant that students in engineering disciplines could work full time at GE for the first three years of college in exchange for a salary plus tuition, books and a place to live. After three years, they would have saved enough to pay for the rest of their undergraduate expenses.
Winot knows that these days, it’s just not as easy to pay for college and students are working two or three jobs in some cases to avoid accumulated debt once they receive their diploma. His gift ensures that the scholarship will cover the full tuition costs for a year of college for the recipients. It’s estimated to benefit as many as four students each academic year — and hopefully more, he says.
“I wanted this scholarship to be significant enough, so that a deserving kid wouldn’t have to work as hard as I did, wouldn’t have to take on debt, and be able to get out of college debt-free,” he explains.
After graduating from UNH with a degree in electrical engineering Winot earned an MBA from UNH in 1974 while working in a management job at GE. His subsequent career with IBM took him to Essex Junction, Vermont, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Winot and his wife, Patricia, who passed away in 2010, were married nearly 41 years. The scholarship is in both of their names.
“I’m so grateful to UNH and the professors there and my fellow students there. I just am thrilled to be able to give back to the school by making this gift,” said Winot. “I am so proud of my alma matter; it was great to go there, and I feel really good about what’s going on there now. Anything I can do to keep it going, I’m happy to do it.”
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