Bill Bonstra, FAIA (B.ARCH ’83) has spent his career as an architect seeking to enrich people’s lives through thoughtful design, a philosophy he has extended to his relationship with the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation for over 30 years. This past month, Bonstra, who has supported the school over the years financially and as an advisor, mentor and teacher, pledged a $30,000 endowment through UMD’s New TerpStart Matching Scholarship Program.
Bill is the first alumnus of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation to give through the TerpStart Matching Scholarship Program, a new need-based scholarship program where the University will match the spendable income from the endowment in perpetuity. The program is designed to assist those students with the greatest financial need—Pell eligible students—as part of the University’s continued mission to provide access and affordability to a quality college education. With the University’s annual match, TerpStart allows the donor’s gift to go farther, reach more students, provide greater impact and attract a more diverse student body. The TerpStart program requires a minimum of a $30,000 contribution, which is payable over five years.
The impact that this endowment will have brings Bonstra deep personal meaning. Coming from a modest upbringing in rural New Jersey, Bill relied quite heavily on financial aid during his time at UMD. Although he has supported several endowments over the years, the TerpStart Matching Scholarship Program will allow Bonstra the opportunity to make a large impact on the future of a new student. “Over the years, what has driven me is the desire to do something that is meaningful to me. This new scholarship not only helps students with the most need, it also gains the backing of the University through dollar-for-dollar matching, which really intrigued me.”
The William Bonstra Scholarship Fund, which will be available to students studying architecture, is set to begin in the fall of 2014. “I am very excited to be participating in this program,” said Bill. “My hopes are that I can build this endowment to a level that will help several students each year for many years to come. I hope my story will also inspire other alumni to do the same.”
TerpStart will be offered until June 30, 2015. For more information, contact Laura Mikolajko.