Gilchrist Berg, local philanthropist and president and founder of Water Street Capital, is donating $1.3 million to the University of North Florida College of Education and Human Services.
The gift, announced Oct. 10, will support current and future teachers in Northeast Florida and provide trained educators to address the teacher shortage.
Berg’s gift funds 20 scholarships annually for the next two years to help launch the Osprey Teacher Residency and Accelerated Program for aspiring educators attending UNF.
“Gilchrist Berg is an inspiration to all of us in education. He supports education at every level, from providing students assistance to obtain an education degree to funding continued education to rewarding great longtime teachers. Gilchrist is elevating the profession and reminding us all about the critical role teachers have played in our lives and in our communities,” UNF President Moez Limayem said in a news release.
In addition to the new gift to fund scholarships, Berg previously pledged more $1 million in funding to continue support for his Gladys Prior Awards for Career Teaching Excellence, named for his former first-grade teacher, and for the Gladys Roddenberry Graduate Fellowships, named for his sixth-grade teacher.
“When people are considering charitable gifts or areas in society to which they might contribute, I can’t think of anything that improves lives, civil discourse, curiosity and an appreciation and joy for those around you, than education,” Berg said in the release.
This year marks the 25th year of Berg awarding the Gladys Prior Awards to outstanding teachers, according to the release.