Contribution becomes largest gift in UCF Day of Giving history
By Josh Miranda
A $250,000 gift from Jessica Blume ’80 and her husband, Ken, will support a scholarship program for business students who are the first in their families to attend college. This commitment, which marks the largest single gift in the history of the UCF Day of Giving campaign, will provide greater opportunities for first-generation students to graduate from college.
“Jessica and Ken are great ambassadors for the college, our students and faculty. Spend a few minutes with Jessica, and you’ll see her love for our students and her enthusiasm for giving back,” said Paul Jarley, Dean of the College of Business. “She’s one of the college’s most successful graduates, and she credits UCF for helping launch her career. To have someone who has had that kind of success come back to share her time, expertise and support with our students is every Dean’s dream.”
Jessica Blume’s generosity and dedication to inspiring success are no secret to students at the college. Blume, a 1980 graduate of the college’s Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting and member of the UCF Business Hall of Fame, is immersed in the culture. She is also a founding member of the Department of Integrated Business Advisory Board.
“When I retired, I was looking for how to stay involved with young people, and it came to me all of sudden, well, I should go back and visit UCF,” said Jessica, who is frequent speaker on campus and long-time judge of the Joust New Venture Competition.
Last year, the Blumes established the Kenneth & Jessica Blume Integrated Business Technology Fund to provide laptops for students to attend classes and complete assignments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Blume’s remarkably generous gift to support first-generation scholarships will not only have a lasting impact on the College of Business, but the lives of our students and their families for generations to come,” says Mike Morsberger, Vice President for Advancement and CEO of the UCF Foundation. “What an extraordinary day for our Business Knights and the entire UCF community.”
The Blumes’ commitment was made as part of UCF Day of Giving, a 24-hour fundraising event for alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students and friends to support what they love at UCF. The gift was one 3,100 that smashed the university’s goal of rallying 2,021 individual contributions within the 24-hour window beginning March 24.