MONROE, LA. (KTVE/KARD)– The University of Louisiana at Monroe plays a critical role in the life of the community. That’s why Dr. Ron Berry and his wife, Christine, created the ULM Opportunity Fund. The Berry’s started the fund with a personal commitment of $100,000.
Originally, the goal was to match that amount through alumni, community, and business support, but that goal has already been met.
“But one day I walked into my dean’s office,” President Berry said. “There on my desk was a check for $100,000 and said with the note, ‘We want to make sure ULM’s new President gets off on the right foot’. So we said ‘wow, we’ve already met our goal’.”
Through the thousands of dollars, the university is looking to create local economic opportunities for students, as well as help them, along with faculty and staff in many ways. From emergency circumstances to special projects.
“It is more than just paying for college and scholarships, it’s creating more opportunities using different methods.”
President Ron Berry said partnerships within the community are important to make opportunities happen.
“For us to move our communities and realize the communities that we dream about, we have to have active partnerships and the Monroe Chamber and the West Monroe Chamber are crucuial in those efforts.”
Lila Strode with the West Monroe West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce said this fund will not only benefit the school, but the entire community.
“Again, it may be a student, it may not be a student, but someone who needs that little extra boost to help the economy,” Strode said.