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University of West Florida, through $1.5M gift, to form Center for Financial Literacy

By newadmin / Published on Thursday, 15 Feb 2018 01:08 AM / No Comments / 5 views


The University of West Florida announced on Wednesday plans to establish the Center for Financial Literacy at its College of Business through a $1.5 million donation from Consumer Credit Counseling Service of West Florida, Inc.

The center, a brand new entity at the college, will provide counseling services and educational seminars to students and the public, with the intent of strengthening and disseminating financial literacy for residents throughout the region. It marks a continuation of the mission of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of West Florida, which is no longer in operation.

“What we’re doing is just continuing what the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of West Florida did for so many years,” said Tim O’Keefe, dean of the College of Business. “We’re perpetuating their contributions and expanding upon those.”

More: UWF will expand Athletic Training Center with $100,000 donation

With the donation, the university will create a $1 million endowment that generates $40,000 annually to underwrite programs and services in support of the center. The additional $500,000 will support programming to aid community organizations with specific projects that improve financial literacy.

O’Keefe explained the first step in this process will involve forming an advisory board to determine how this will transpire. He said the board will likely start with some of the former members of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of West Florida. The university will also seek out other professionals in the field.

Once finalized, O’Keefe said the center will exist to serve students and the public with counseling on how to avoid falling into debt as well as provide solutions on how to get out of debt. The center will also provide an educational aspect, as the university presents some of the real-world problems uncovered by the center to students in their classes in the College of Business. Students will then contribute to identifying answers to those problems.

“We can work on those problems in the courses in which our students are learning some of those concepts,” O’Keefe said.

In its announcement of the center, university officials said educational content will cover topics including financial skills and knowledge, prudent use of consumer credit, debt management, credit counseling, money management, business ethics, mortgage counseling, retirement planning and income taxes.

UWF President Martha Saunders said in the news release announcing the center that the new entity should provide benefits for all in the region. 

“The donation aligns with the College of Business’s mission to contribute to the advancement and economic development of the region,” Saunders said in the news release. “The Center for Financial Literacy will equip individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to make informed and practical financial decisions.”

Joseph Baucum can be reached at jbaucum@pnj.com or 850-435-8632.

Read or Share this story: http://www.pnj.com/story/news/education/2018/02/14/university-west-florida-through-1-5-m-gift-form-center-financial-literacy/338094002/

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