Sun Life Is Inaugural Corporate Donor For FirstGen Presidential Fellows Program
Sun Life U.S. has partnered with Bentley University as an inaugural corporate donor to support first-generation college students within the school’s FirstGen Presidential Fellows (FPF) program. The Sun Life FirstGen Scholarship Fund, established with a $100,000 corporate gift, will support two FirstGen Presidential Fellows for each of their four years at Bentley. Launched last fall, Bentley’s FPF program engages a small group of high-achieving students from underrepresented groups in an array of holistic offerings to promote academic, professional and personal development. During the students’ four years at Bentley, they will participate in program-specific workshops, and leadership and community-based experiences that promote meaningful learning and inspire change.
“We are excited to support the enrollment and retention of diverse first-generation students, who will share their strengths and perspectives with the Bentley community,” said Tammi Wortham, senior vice president of Human Resources at Sun Life U.S. “Bentley’s goal to increase the diversity of their student body matches our own goals, and will allow us to be an impactful partner in driving change within the university as well as bringing strong, qualified candidates to Sun Life and other organizations.”
The Bentley FPF program provides mentorship, development, support, and a full academic scholarship to each student. The program was created to offer a “transformative” educational opportunity to high-performing, first-generation college students, and to help grow the diversity of the growing student body.
“Bentley University is committed to making our campus and the business world more diverse and inclusive,” said Jane De León, PhD, associate dean of Arts and Sciences and faculty director of Bentley’s FirstGen Presidential Fellows program. “First-generation students are central to this goal because of the unique perspectives, talents and life experiences they bring. This program helps them further tap into those talents while gaining academic, professional, and life skills that prepare them to make a positive impact on the organizations they join after graduation.”
Bentley Honored for Welcoming First-Generation Students
Sun Life and Bentley have worked closely together for years. In addition to many new-graduate hires from Bentley, Sun Life has been a member of the university’s Center for Women and Business Executive Working Group since 2017, actively working to foster more inclusive workplaces and examine key issues impacting workplace gender diversity and equity.
“Bentley is an excellent school for business and other academic areas, and we know these students will learn and thrive,” said Dan Fishbein, M.D., president of Sun Life U.S. “We’re confident that they will be well-prepared to enter into the professional world and achieve success.”
Sun Life will engage with program students during their time at Bentley, including potential internships and job opportunities after graduation. Sun Life scholarship recipients will receive notification this spring and will begin their first semester in September 2021.