A Life-Changing Gift

Greg Vandagriff was working full time and using student loans to fund his education. He was majoring in information systems with the goal of working in business intelligence or operations management. But he reached a point where he was living beyond his means. He had exhausted all his assets and was deeply in debt. His employer was counting on him to finish school on schedule, but Greg couldn't see how to do it without going hopelessly into debt.

Aware of Greg's struggles, Professor Keith Mulbery encouraged Greg to apply for the new Keith R. Mulbery Endowed Scholarship for Information Systems. Greg knew his GPA wasn't among the highest in his major, so he was stunned when he received the scholarship notice at work one day. "GPA was only one consideration," read the award letter from the scholarship committee. "Financial need and leadership in Information Systems classes contributed greatly to the decision."

"At that point, UVU went from being just another school to a life-changing institution staffed by teachers and faculty who genuinely care about the success of their students," said Greg. "I went to the bathroom at work (where many of my most heartfelt prayers have been offered), locked the door behind me, knelt down, and thanked Heavenly Father from the bottom of my heart. Gross bathroom floor, but I didn't care. I had gotten a scholarship."

UVU Professor Endows Scholarship

Keith Mulbery, professor and chair of the Department of Information Systems and Technology at Utah Valley University, knew from an early age that he wanted to be an educator. It was in his genes—his mother was an elementary schoolteacher, his grandfather was a principal and superintendent, and his brother is an elementary school principal.

Mulbery received scholarships as an undergraduate, and the Woodbury School of Business provided scholarships to help him earn his Ph.D. He wanted to repay the assistance by helping other students earn their degrees. He established the Keith R. Mulbery Endowed Scholarship for Information Systems with a substantial gift.

"Because the information systems discipline is in high demand, I wanted to provide a scholarship for students to complete their IS degrees and go out into the workforce and contribute significantly to the field," said Mulbery. "I wanted as many students to benefit from a scholarship as possible, and the best way to do that is to set up an endowed scholarship to generate interest to provide a scholarship indefinitely. These scholarships truly make a difference in students' lives." Mulbery hopes to make additional gifts in the future so that the fund ultimately provides two annual ongoing scholarships.

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