UConn Honors Program Receives $1M Campaign Gift

The University of Connecticut has announced a campaign gift of more than $1 million for the Honors Program from alumni Robert and Carlotta Holster.

“Building on the quality of our outstanding Honors Program is a key strategy to attract the very best and brightest students to the University of Connecticut. This wonderful gift will enable us to expand the opportunities for students to have a truly enriched experience, and will enable us to provide the quality of undergraduate education that our top students have come to expect,” said Provost Peter Nicholls.

The new endowment will support activities designed to enrich the academic experience for honors students, such as undergraduate research, international travel, and academic and creative projects.

“Mr. and Mrs. Holster’s gift will support the types of enrichment experiences that make the difference between a good collegiate career and an exceptional one. We know that students benefit tremendously from individualized and independent academic experiences,” said Lynne Goodstein, director of the Honors Program and associate vice provost of enrichment programs at UConn.

The Holsters are giving back to UConn for the excellent education they received as undergraduate students. Mr. Holster earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and Mrs. Holster earned a bachelor’s degree in child development and family relations from UConn, both in 1968. Mr. Holster credits his professors during his first year with inspiring a lifelong passion for learning and preparing him for success throughout his life.

“They were talented, engaged with their material and their students, and it was infectious,” Mr. Holster said. “Those freshman courses in economics, English literature and history armed me with models for thinking about things that assisted me later in the Army and in graduate school, and remain relevant to this day in business.”

Mr. Holster is chairman of the board and former chief executive officer of HMS Holdings Corp. HMS coordinates health care benefits between government entitlement programs (e.g., Medicaid) and the health insurance industry. Mr. Holster was elected to the Board of Directors of the University of Connecticut Foundation in 2009.

The Honors Program enrolls 9 percent of the undergraduate population at the main campus in Storrs. For students entering the program in 2009, the average combined critical reading and math SAT score is 1395 and the average class rank is the ninety-fifth percentile. Twenty-six percent of students entering the program are from underrepresented ethnic or economic backgrounds.

Our University. Our Moment. The Campaign for UConn—the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history—was launched in September. The campaign goal is to raise $600 million for students, faculty and programs.


The University of Connecticut is the state’s flagship university. Founded in 1881, UConn has grown to include 10 schools and colleges at its main campus in Storrs, five regional campuses throughout the state, the Schools of Law and Social Work in Hartford, and the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine at the UConn Health Center in Farmington. UConn is an RU/VH (research university/very high research activity) institution, a prestigious designation shared by only the nation’s top higher education institutions. The university has more than 70 research centers where faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates explore everything from improving human health to protecting the country’s natural resources. UConn has been named the number one public university in New England for nine consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report.


The University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc., of Storrs, Conn., was founded in 1964. The foundation is a tax-exempt corporation that operates exclusively to promote the educational, scientific, cultural, and recreational objectives of the University of Connecticut. As the primary fundraising vehicle for the university, the foundation’s mission is to solicit, receive, and administer gifts and financial resources from private sources to support UConn’s pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, and public service.

For more information

Arthur Sorrentino, UConn Foundation

860.486.6926, asorrentino@foundation.uconn.edu

Richard Veilleux, University Communications

860.486.0890, richard.veilleux@uconn.edu