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Cynthia and Jeff Alecci identified a need during the COVID-19 pandemic, realized they were in a position to do something about it, and took action to help fellow Blue Hens.
Cynthia and Jeff Alecci identified a need during the COVID-19 pandemic, realized they were in a position to do something about it, and took action to help fellow Blue Hens.

Taking action to make a difference

Photo courtesy of Jeff and Cynthia Alecci

UD alumnus Jeff Alecci and Cynthia Alecci create Lerner College scholarship

University of Delaware alumnus Jeff Alecci and his wife Cynthia wanted to offset some of the financial burden the COVID-19 pandemic placed on current Blue Hens. As the pandemic has continued for over a year, more and more students and their families have experienced crises and struggles with their mental, social and financial health and wellbeing. 

The couple created the Jeffrey M. Alecci and Cynthia Alecci Scholarship, which will provide funds for UD students with financial need. Undergraduate business students from UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Jeff’s alma mater, will be eligible for this scholarship by the 2021-2022 academic year. 

“This gift is COVID-related,” Jeff Alecci said. “More people are going to need help. People who could have afforded to send their kids to UD, all of a sudden, because of COVID-19, don't have jobs or their jobs have been scaled down dramatically. Because of that loss of income, some kids may not be able to go. That really was the impetus for it.”

Jeff and Cynthia previously established the endowed Alecci Family Scholarship at the Lerner College in 2018 so other students can have the opportunity to build their own UD memories, regardless of their financial situation.

Jeff reflected on not only his own experience at UD, but also those of his stepsons Alec, Andrew and Michael, all of whom followed his example as Blue Hens.

“It's a wonderful place to be,” Jeff said. “If I know that I can contribute to a student’s success at my alma mater, then maybe my contribution will inspire someone else to pay it forward.”

The couple chose to give to the Lerner College again at this time because they wanted to make an immediate impact.

“This time around we wanted to make sure the money will be used now, not 10 years from now,” Jeff said. “I want it to be used over the next year while there is significant need.”

Alecci hopes his gift will inspire others to consider their own philanthropy.

“For those who want to help but don’t know where to start, I suggest looking for a place where one’s time or funds can have an immediate impact. People want to know that their investment is making a difference. There are so many ways to do that at the University.”

For more information about giving to Lerner College at UD, contact Angelica Howard, associate director of Development, at 302-831-3816 or ayhoward@udel.edu.

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