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UNH alumnus pledges more than $2 million for scholarships

Union Leader Correspondent

November 07. 2017 12:15PM
Bob Winot worked his way through college and wants to give future students a helping hand. (COURTESY)

DURHAM — A man who worked his way through college has pledged more than $2 million from his estate to the University of New Hampshire so future students in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences can receive free tuition.

Bob Winot graduated from UNH in 1971. He said that when he was an undergraduate, the General Electric plant in Somersworth had a six-year pathway to a Bachelor of Science degree. Students in the engineering disciplines worked full time at GE during the first three years of college in exchange for a salary, tuition, books and a place to live.

After three years, the students had enough money saved to pay for the rest of their undergraduate expenses, he said.

Winot worries that students today take on two or three jobs or accumulate debt to get their UNH degrees.

"I wanted this scholarship to be significant enough so that a deserving kid wouldn't have to work as hard as I did, wouldn't have to take on debt, and be able to get out of college debt-free," Winot said. "I am so proud of my alma mater. It was great to go there, and I feel really good about what's going on there now. Anything I can do to keep it going, I'm happy to do it."

Winot graduated with an electrical engineering degree and earned a master's degree from UNH in 1974. He was working in management at GE at the time. Winot then began working at IBM and has lived in Essex Junction, Vt., and Charlotte, N.C.

The scholarships will be given in his name and that of his late wife, Patricia.

Several scholarships will be awarded annually to New Hampshire or Vermont students who demonstrate financial need and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Wayne Jones, dean of UNH's College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said Winot's generosity will help well-deserving students focus on achieving academic success.

"Generous alumni like Bob understand the hard work that goes into paying for college; he did that hard work himself 50 years ago. His gift will help future generations of students enjoy the benefits of a UNH CEPS education," Jones said.

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