Sarasota philanthropists’ $500,000 gift establishes new scholarships

Andrew and Judith Economos
Andrew and Judith Economos.

Andrew and Judith Economos have generously donated $500,000 to New College of Florida to fund scholarships for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

The Archimedes Scholars Program, named after the Greek mathematician and scientist, will provide a $10,000 scholarship annually to a New College student and a $5,000 scholarship yearly to two graduates of high schools in Sarasota or Manatee County pursuing studies in a STEM field.

The Economos, who are funding the Archimedes Scholars for the next five years with the goal of extending and broadening the scholarship program after the pilot phase, said: “We hope that it will aid outstanding scholars in pursuing careers in STEM fields” The first scholarships will be awarded in fall 2019.

“This is a unique and incredibly generous undertaking on which Andrew and Judith have embarked,” states New College President Donal O’Shea. “The Economos exemplify the breadth and intellectual generosity that we seek to cultivate in our students.”

Andrew and Judith Economos have lived lives that move seamlessly among art, philosophy, mathematics and computer science. Both hold Ph.D.s; both wrote code in the early phases of the computer revolution; both paint, sculpt, carve and write. Andrew founded and led the successful broadcasting software company RCS, which he sold after 30 years. Judith played a key role in building the company. A poet and artist, she taught philosophy at Princeton University briefly when the couple was starting out. Andrew grew up in Sarasota, and the couple retired back to the area.

“New College, which ranks among the top eight universities in the nation for the percentage of its graduates who go on to become scientists, is the perfect place for this scholarship program,” President O’Shea says. “It not only allows New College to better compete for the most gifted science students, it also directly benefits Sarasota-Bradenton high school students, no matter where they decide to study. The Archimedes Scholars Program will enhance New College’s reputation by placing it at the center of a scholarship program of national reach.”

Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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