Former professor makes gift to support scholarship initiative

Dr. Paul Nicoletti

Dr. Paul Nicoletti

The UF College of Veterinary Medicine has launched a new dean’s scholarship endowment initiative to reverse the escalating student debt load trend and, ultimately, generate a ten-fold increase in the amount of scholarship dollars awarded to our students annually.

To jump start this effort, Dr. Paul Nicoletti, a professor emeritus of infectious diseases at the UF veterinary college and a longtime supporter of student scholarships, is providing a $100,000 challenge gift.

“For thirty years, Dr. Paul Nicoletti taught, mentored and advised UF veterinary medical students, shaping the lives and careers of thousands of students,” said college development director Patricia Wlasuk, who is spearheading the new initiative.

“Even in retirement, Dr. Nicoletti understands the difficulties veterinary medical students face as they incur an ever-increasing debt load to finish their veterinary medical education. Since retiring, Dr. Nicoletti has established three endowed scholarships, including a million dollar pledge,” Wlasuk said.

Wlasuk said the college’s goal is to meet Nicoletti’s $100,000 challenge by May 15. Nicoletti will match all donations, dollar-for-dollar, to the UFCVM Dean’s Scholarship Endowment Fund, up to a total of $100,000.

“Please join him and help support the college and the veterinary profession by investing in our students, the veterinarians of tomorrow,” Wlasuk said.

Nicoletti served on the college’s faculty for 28 years before retiring in 2003. He worked in government and in academia in his career and has greatly influenced Florida’s agricultural industry. His contributions to agriculture in the 1970s, primarily through his expertise in brucellosis, a major threat to livestock at that time, are widely believed to have saved Florida’s cattle industry.

In 2013, Nicoletti was named to the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.

For more information about the Nicoletti Challenge and how to give, click here or contact Wlasuk via email at or by phone at 352-294-4212.

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February 2015


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