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Cruzan VIRIL Donates $40,000 for UVI Scholarships

Long-time University of the Virgin Islands supporter Cruzan VIRIL Ltd. has contributed an additional $40,000 in support of student scholarships. The donation was made during a formal check presentation on August 1, at the Cruzan Rum distillery on St. Croix.

Cruzan VIRIL Ltd. President and CEO Gary Nelthropp was accompanied at the presentation by a number of UVI alumni who are employed by the company. Cruzan began its tradition of supporting UVI students in 1987. This donation brings the total Cruzan donation to $695,000. UVI President Dr. David Hall and Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dionne V. Jackson were on hand to receive the contribution.

Several UVI alumni who work for Cruzan VIRIL on St. Croix participated in an August 1 presentation of a $40,000 check in support of scholarships for UVI students. Shown, from left, are Accounting Assistant Shavena Hood ('99), Office Manager Magdalen Joseph ('98), Cruzan President and CEO Gary C. Nelthropp, UVI President Dr. David Hall, UVI Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dionne V. Jackson and Accounting Coordinator Narissa T. Mapp ('07).

"This is an important investment in the future of UVI," Dr. Hall said. "It will enable our students to pursue their dreams of higher education without the burden of tuition cost hanging over their heads. Cruzan Rum has set a standard which I hope many other companies in the Territory would reach and exceed."

Cruzan's Nelthropp echoed that sentiment. "Especially during these difficult economic times, it is important for the community to continue its support of UVI," Nelthropp said. "Our contribution of $40,000 this year is an investment in building our future and that of our children. We have always kept our commitments, and will continue to do so."

Vice President Jackson called Cruzan Rum's 25-year investment in scholarship funds at UVI "a bold statement of the company's support of higher education, economic development and the people of our community."

"Each dollar invested in the higher educational pursuits of our citizens pays tremendous dividends for the entire U.S. Virgin Islands," Jackson said. "The impact of Cruzan Rum's commitment simply cannot be measured. We, at UVI, thank Cruzan Rum - and the Nelthropp family - for their continued support of our institution and our students."
The Nelthropp family and Cruzan VIRIL Ltd. - a subsidiary of Beam, the fourth largest premium spirits company in the world and the largest U.S.-based spirits company - have been making light, dark, flavored and spiced rums on St. Croix since 1934.

Along with its annual contributions in support of UVI scholarships, Cruzan VIRIL Ltd. established an endowed UVI scholarship in recognition of the late Knud Oliver Parris in 2000. Mr. Parris, who was the longest tenured employee of Cruzan VIRIL Ltd. when he died in 1997, had been employed at the distillery for more than 45 years.
Learn more about Cruzan VIRIL Ltd. on their website

Individuals and organizations interested in supporting the University of the Virgin Islands and its students are encouraged to contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (340) 693-1040. More information is available from the UVI website: