The funds raised during the virtual event on May 6 celebrating New College of Florida President Donal O’Shea’s accomplishments will be directed to the Donal B. O’Shea Scholarship Endowment. Dr. O’Shea is retiring in June.
(May 11, 2021) MaryAnne Young, executive director of the New College Foundation, announced that more than $500,000 was raised during the “O’Shea Formula,” a virtual event on May 6 that celebrated New College of Florida President Donal O’Shea’s accomplishments. Dr. O’Shea is retiring in June after serving nine years. Young explains that, in honor of Dr. O’Shea, the Foundation has established the Donal B. O’Shea Scholarship Endowment. This endowment fund will afford five to 10 students annually the opportunity to access their dream of a New College education. “We are gratified by the outpouring of support to honor President O’Shea.”
Young says that the virtual event was meant to “be fun and lighthearted, while showcasing our deep appreciation for Dr. O’Shea’s outstanding leadership, his encouragement and support of collaborative initiatives, and his unwavering spirit of optimism. He leaves New College in a strong position and legacy of authenticity and goodwill—one we will carry on through the years to come.”
The “O’Shea Formula” featured Professor Emeritus Stephen Miles as master of ceremonies, music and dance performances by New College Students, a festive parade of well-wishing New College students, faculty and staff, a salute by past trustee chairs, and closing remarks by Mary Ruiz, chair of New College’s board of trustees.
“We’re honored to share our appreciation for the lasting impact President O’Shea has made on New College and our community,” said Ruiz at the event. “There are many examples of when and where President O’Shea’s vision and education have transformed New College and positioned it for the future. President O’Shea cares. He is authentic. His love of learning and the arts and sciences is enduring and infectious. He instinctively puts the benefit of the college as a whole and each person as an individual as his highest priority. His smile is engaging, his life irresistible. This is a formula for a wonderful human being. This is the O’Shea formula.”
During O’Shea’s tenure as president, New College received more than $10 million from the state legislature to increase its enrollment to 1,200 students and boost four-year graduation rates to 80 percent by 2028. He also secured state funding for an addition to the Heiser Natural Sciences Complex, launch the master’s program in applied data science, two $750,000 grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support arts and humanities and community engagement, and significant private gifts to fund student scholarships. He also oversaw the launch of a dual-degree program with the University of Florida, in which students can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts from New College and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the UF Wertheim College of Engineering in five years.
Presenting sponsors for the event included the Keith D. Monda Family Foundation, the Tillie, Jennie and Harold Schwartz Foundation, and Mitchell and Dawn Epstein. All proceeds benefit student scholarships. Honorary chairs for the O’Shea Formula included Beverly and Bob Bartner, Ron Christaldi (‘89), Doug (‘96) and Erin Christy, Renee Hamad, Chuck (‘64) and Carol Hamilton, Sue Jacobson, Christine Jennings, Bill and Betsy Johnston, Charlene Lenger (‘78), Keith Monda and Veronica Brady, Mike and Marie Pender, Charles (‘64) and Vicki (’65) Raeburn, Drs. Sharon (’65) and Craig Ramey, Mary Ruiz (‘73) and Dennis Wilkison, Felice Schulaner (‘78) and Dennis Rees, George and Tina Skestos, Dan (‘77) and Sara Stults, and Lawrence (‘87) and Elizabeth (‘87) Vernaglia.
For more information about the New College Foundation, call 941-487-4800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About New College of Florida
Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college and the Honors College of Florida. It prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in liberal arts and sciences, a master’s degree program in data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.