When an unprecedented event placed extraordinary stress on the Nellie Student Support Fund, members of the Jacksonville University community responded in a predictable way: They asked how they could help.
“As members of the Jacksonville University family, we take care of one another, especially our students. It’s what we do,” says University trustee Robert Hill, who is one of dozens of Dolphins who have already made financial contributions to ensure the Nellie Fund can continue providing aid.
Since 2016, the Nellie Fund has helped Jacksonville University students pay unexpected expenses during emergencies such as hurricanes, fires, auto accidents, and family deaths. Today, students are calling upon the fund to help them get through a global pandemic.
“The compassion displayed by the administration through this crisis is so genuine, and I admire how committed the whole administration is to trying to get this right,” says Nancy Gilreath P’21, who is Co-Chair of the President’s Parents Council. “Our family made the choice to support the Nellie Fund. A lot of families are facing airfares, storage and car rentals that are a real strain, not to mention the unknown expenses they may be facing in the fall. We are fortunate to be local and were happy to contribute to ease the stress on some of these students.”
During the current crisis, the Nellie Fund, which was named in honor of the University’s long-time dolphin mascot, has already provided funds to help:
- A first-year student who couldn’t return to campus following Spring Break because of travel restrictions. The Nellie Fund partnered with a moving company to provide peace of mind and store the student’s belongings for the summer.
- A student in the service industry who is not able to work. Due to loss of income, the student could not keep up with regular expenses. The Nellie Fund allowed the student to continue to pay bills and purchase groceries.
- An international student who needed to return home before travel restrictions were implemented. The Nellie Fund helped the student return to family.
The University’s Office of Student Financial Assistance administers the Nellie Fund, which provides financial support to current JU students who experience unexpected expenses. When they have exhausted all other resources, students may apply for help from the Nellie Fund.
Students can use the support for purposes such as:
- Medical care or medications
- Personal safety, such as changing a lock
- Replacement of essential personal belongings
- Travel costs
Students in need of emergency financial assistance may submit an application and supporting documentation to the Student Solutions Center. The Nellie Student Support Committee, comprised of staff from the Office of the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs and Student Financial Assistance, reviews applications.
“This national crisis is going to impact families of all economic status, and it’s clear that many more students will come back with increased need,” says Lisa Sutherland P’23, President’s Parents Council member and Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences Advisory Board member. “Fundraising for our JU community seems more critical than ever before.”