University of the Virgin Islands President Dr. David Hall and UVI Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dionne Jackson recently flew to UVI's Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix to accept a $10,000 donation to the University from Virgin Islands Paving, Inc.
Robert "Rob" Schierloh, president of V.I. Paving, said the decision to give to the University was impacted by the many V.I. Paving employees who, over the years, have furthered their education at UVI. The gift provides financial assistance to UVI students who are interested in engineering degree opportunities through the University's 3-2 engineering program in partnership with two mainland universities - Columbia University in New York City and Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. UVI engineering program students are required to attend UVI for their first three years of study and to attend the last two years at one of the pre-selected universities.
"This is our first time contributing at this level," Schierloh said. "We would love to continue to donate to UVI in the future, as long as we remain successful."
In 2010, V.I. Paving first partnered with UVI's Reichhold Center for the Arts as a major sponsor of Oliver Samuel's play at the Island Center for the Performing Arts on St. Croix. This year, Schierloh and V.I. Paving Manager Glenda Cupid were approached by Linda I. Smith, UVI's director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs, who suggested ways to make a difference in a student's life and in the community.
"This year, we knew we wanted to continue helping others to reach their academic dreams and Ms. Smith approached us with the idea," said Schierloh.
V.I. Paving, which was incorporated in 1981, is owned by residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands. With a local workforce of approximately 120 Virgin Islands residents, the company maintains its own engineering and surveying staff and has asphalt facilities on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
"We are delighted to welcome V.I. Paving as a University partner," said Dionne Jackson, UVI's vice president for Institutional Advancement. "This gift will further the development of intellectual capital in the Virgin Islands, which will improve the quality of life that we all enjoy here in the Territory."
Schierloh puts a lot of emphasis on education, Cupid said. She was able to earn a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from UVI in 1993, while working fulltime at V.I. Paving. After Cupid achieved this academic milestone, Schierloh decided to extend educational assistance to all V.I. Paving employees.
"We do have an Educational Assistance Program (EAP) set up," Cupid said. "This program pays for UVI courses for our employees as long as they maintain good grades. It encourages our employees to further their education so they can give back to the community."
To find out more about making a gift to the University of the Virgin Islands, please contact VP Jackson in the UVI Office of Institutional Advancement by calling (340) 693-1041 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.