A campaign gift from a couple with deep ties to the Cooperative Extension System will provide seed funds to take innovative new ideas from concept to implementation. Because of their lifelong passion for 4-H, they are also providing major support for 4-H activities.
Nancy Bull, vice provost for academic administration at UConn, has worked with the Cooperative Extension System for more than 30 years. She came to UConn in 1993 as an adjunct professor of textiles and design management. In 1995, she was named associate dean for outreach and public service in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and associate director of the Cooperative Extension System. Her husband, Col. David Bull, dean of administration at Quinebaug Valley Community College and retired from the U.S. Air Force, was raised on a sheep, corn, and soybean farm and was involved in 4-H throughout his childhood.
“Cooperative Extension System programs, including the 4-H youth development program, touch lives in countless and sometimes unknown ways,” explains Bull. “Education on forest and wildlife management impacts on water quality. Family life education programs teach families how to be more effective parents and feed their children, which has a long-term impact on the health of our nation. Sustainable production agriculture provides for a local food supply that is not transportation-dependent, and keeps the state’s environment healthy while improving the quality of life for all.”
The couple’s $250,000 planned gift will be split between two existing funds: the Cooperative Extension System Innovation Programming Fund and the 4-H Centennial Account. In honor of their support, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources renamed the innovation fund the Nancy H. and David E. Bull Cooperative Extension System Innovative Programming Fund. Additionally, they have been inducted into the Foundation’s Founders Society.
“We are so thrilled to thank Nancy and David Bull for their generous planned gift to the college to support innovative programming in Extension and 4-H,” says Gregory Weidemann, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “It is truly special to have the opportunity to celebrate such a wonderful gift from a member of our own college family. Nancy has dedicated much of her professional life to this college and UConn. To have Nancy and David continue to support Extension through this gift is particularly meaningful.”
Bull, who received innovation grants when she worked with the Ohio State Extension System, says the couple was inspired to support a similar fund at UConn that spurs imaginative solutions to share research with local communities, businesses, and families.
“We both like to support new and creative endeavors that are not easily supported by grant funding,” says Bull. “The primary benefit is that the faculty and staff of the Cooperative Extension System, along with numerous volunteers, might explore and implement new ideas that could result in economic or community development. The funding will allow people to take a risk. We hope that this ability to innovate will also spur people to pay forward for the next new idea as well.”
For more information about supporting the Nancy H. and David E. Bull CES Innovative Programming Fund or 4-H Centennial Account, please contact the UConn Foundation’s development department.