Improving Lives at UWF
Stanley Schmerken was dedicated to improving the lives of young people who were pursuing an education. Over the years, he developed a passion for education, recognizing it is often the key to financial security.
Stanley made the decision in May 2016 to create a charitable gift annuity in the amount of $3 million to UWF, providing an income stream to his family and eventually contributing an estimated $1.26 million to the University.
Stanley's gift established Stanley Schmerken Scholars, a scholarship endowment for students who possess academic ability and leadership potential, yet are in need of financial assistance to earn their college degrees.
"To start off life with such debt hanging over your neck is crazy," Stanley said. "That's what motivates me—I do what I can for young people. It's imperative today to have a college education."
Stanley served in the U.S. Navy prior to graduating college, then worked as an electrical engineer in Venezuela and as a traveling garment salesman in the United States before moving to Pensacola in 1960.
In November 2019, Stanley passed away and left a generous philanthropic legacy at UWF as well as many other colleges and universities.
Stanley heard stories of young people struggling to pay for their educations and the hardships created by debt after graduation. He wanted to help UWF students overcome those barriers. Future Stanley Schmerken Scholars can be grateful to the thoughtful man who made their educations both affordable and achievable.
"You've got to try to help those who can't do much for themselves," Stanley said. "If you can't do a little good, what good are you?"