Parents Fund Makes Scholarships Possible - Giving to UVA

Parents Fund Makes Scholarships Possible

Scholarship recipiants

The UVA Parents Fund is dedicated to enhancing the student experience. To support outstanding performance and continued intellectual growth, the Parents Fund offers two scholarships, both awarded each spring to rising third-year students for a portion of their third- and fourth-year tuition and fees. Recipients are chosen based on demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, citizenship, and financial need.

The Gilbert J. Sullivan Endowed Scholarship honors the co-founder of the UVA Parents Fund Committee, Gilbert Sullivan, who served as director of the UVA Alumni Association for 35 years. The Gordon C. Burris Endowed Scholarship was created in 2014 and recognizes longtime administrator and student mentor, Gordon Burris, who co-founded the UVA Parents Fund Committee along with Sullivan.


Daliya Saadoon (Col ’19)

Gordon C. Burris Endowed Scholarship Recipient 2016–17

Originally hailing from Iraq, third-year student Daliya Saadoon is redefining what it means to be busy. In addition to being enrolled in UVA’s prestigious classics honors program, the double-major is also pursuing a degree in biology with a premedical focus.

A lover of both extracurricular and volunteer opportunities, Saadoon serves as president of the Arab Student Organization, as well as an executive board member of the Middle Eastern Mentoring Program and an active Madison House volunteer.

Saadoon moved to the U.S. in 2009 when she was in sixth grade. Attending junior high and high school in Northern Virginia, she completed studies in ESL and participated in activities ranging from student government to soccer.

While Saadoon’s future is bright, she’s currently unsure of which career path she’ll follow. She envisions herself working either for the U.S. State Department—where she hopes to facilitate stronger communications between the U.S. and Middle East—or as a pediatrician. “They’re very different fields,” she said, “but each is rooted in helping people.”

Saadoon is extremely thankful to be this year’s recipient of the Gordon C. Burris Scholarship. “I’m so grateful to the Parents Fund and the Burris family for this extraordinary opportunity,” she said. “Because of their generosity, I’m free to focus on my studies without having to worry about finances. My future is wide open.”

Punit Barot (Col ’19)

Gilbert J. Sullivan Endowed Scholarship Recipient 2016–17

Punit Barot, of Suffolk, Virginia, intends to double-major in biology and economics. Bright and highly motivated, the third-year student divides his time between schoolwork, extracurricular opportunities, and volunteer initiatives.

As a service chair of Alpha Epsilon Delta—the University’s premedical honors society—Barot helps coordinate care for communities in need. In 2016-17, he gained international experience when he traveled to the Dominican Republic as a member of the Global Medical Training team.

Barot is also an active counselor in Camp Kesem, a free summer camp for kids whose parents are battling cancer. Each year, he and his colleagues raise funds for this special event, creating a safe and welcoming environment for this unique population.

After graduation, Barot wants to attend medical school and would ultimately like to become a physician. “I enjoy helping people, and becoming a doctor will allow me to give back to my community in a meaningful way,” he said.

Barot is honored to have been named the 2016–17 recipient of the Gilbert J. Sullivan scholarship. “I’m so grateful to the Sullivan family and to the Parents Fund Committee for recognizing my potential,” he said. “This scholarship will not only enhance my education, but allow me to pursue the experiences that fuel my interests. I believe helping others is a noble cause, and I promise to pay this generosity forward in the future.”