FMC Technologies Educational Fund Has Lasting Legacy
When Bert A. Gayman graduated from the University of Illinois in 1897—a mere 30 years after the founding of the University—he may not have known the mark he would leave with an anonymous gift he would make more than six decades later. Now in 2012, the mechanical engineering graduate’s generosity and vision has created an indelible legacy, helping both undergraduate and graduate students pursue an education at the University of Illinois.
Through Gayman’s initial gift of 10,000 shares of Chicago-based Link-Belt Company common stock in 1963, more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students have been able to attend Illinois. The number of students affected continued to grow because of stock price appreciation and various company mergers and spinoffs. The gift was valued at $492,500 in 1963.
“Over the past 15 years we have watched the value of the FMC Technologies (NYSE: FTI) Educational Fund grow and we have taken advantage of opportunities like selling stock of spinoff companies under the FMC umbrella to help strengthen the endowment,” states Bradley Hatfield, Senior Vice President for Administration at the University of Illinois Foundation. “It was Mr. Gayman’s intent for his gift to support students with scholarships and fellowships. Financial assistance is more crucial than ever and with the ongoing Access Illinois Presidential Scholarship Initiative we are increasing these awards and helping more students on all three campuses. The impact of this gift over nearly 50 years has been truly remarkable and because of Mr. Gayman’s vision dozens of students each year will be the beneficiaries.”
Gayman spent his entire career with Link-Belt Company, rising through the ranks to become the president of the Pacific Division and a member of the board of directors. He retired from Link- Belt in 1943. In 1963, he established the Link-Belt Company Education Fund, an endowment managed by the U of I Foundation, with the stock gift. The income from the shares was to be used for scholarships, fellowships, or research. Gayman chose to remain an anonymous donor until 1973, a year before his death.
In 1965, 10,000 shares of the common stock increased to 15,000 by a 3-for-2 stock split. In 1967, Link-Belt was merged into FMC Corporation and the name of the fund was changed to the FMC Educational Fund. After a restructuring of FMC Corporation into two publicly traded companies (FMC Corporation and FMC Technologies, Inc.), and selling stock from spin off companies from 2001-2010, the value of the fund in 2012 is now worth more than $10.4 million.
“FMC Technologies is proud that its growth over the past decade has enabled the Educational Fund to reach the record level it is at today,” said Robert K. Cherry, U.S. General Manager Surface Wellhead at FMC Technologies, Inc., and a 1991 University of Illinois graduate in mechanical engineering. “As a technology focused company, we look forward to expanding our relationship with the University in engineering and other technology related areas.”
Starting in the fall of 2012, more than $370,000 will be available to be distributed annually for student support from the fund. Forty-seven undergraduate students on the three U of I campuses will receive a $5,000 non-renewable merit award each year. In addition, $135,000 to $140,000 will be awarded each year to masters and doctoral students as FMC Fellowship Awards.
From 1971 to 1987, 20 awards of $1,000 each were available to one student in each undergraduate college. From 1987 to 2011, 47 scholarships of $1,000 each were distributed among undergraduate students on all three campuses. Since the fellowship program was established in 1971, 169 students have received awards totaling $1.247 million.
Also, over the life of the fund, more than $390,000 has been distributed through the financial aid office for need-based aid. Over the past 48 years, more than $3 million has been awarded to Illinois students from the fund. That is six times more than the value of the original gift in 1963.
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