Personal experience with serving in the military and working for the government-led Emile Skura and his wife Hallie, along with their children Robert, Catherine ’82, and Maureen “93, to establish the Skura Family Endowed Freedom Scholarship, a $1 million endowed scholarship for children of Gulf War veterans who attend UCF. “I served six years in the military in Canada and left the service in 1955. Later I also worked for the federal government. Because of these experiences, I have always followed the war, and feel strongly that we need to reward our veterans and their children for what they are doing for us,” said Emile.
Since immigrating to Florida from Canada in 1968, Emile and Hallie have been committed to the Central Florida area; their three children attended UCF and family business ventures have all been local.
Thanks to their parents’ assistance, the Skura children finished their studies debt-free but Emile understands that there are many graduates not as fortunate. “I believe strongly in education and I believe we should help those people who might not have the opportunity to study because of financial need.” He focused the endowed scholarship on the children of veterans because, like their parents, they have also made sacrifices in their lives. Most have experienced numerous relocations due to their parents’ military careers, or have spent long periods of their lives without one or both parents present.
Emile is also considering an extension of the scholarship to provide support to veterans, “I feel it is important to support our young veterans who might have interrupted their studies to go to war, or who came home injured,” he added.
Emile and Hallie hope their three children, and later their eight grandchildren, will continue to be committed to supporting education and our war veterans. “I feel that we have an obligation to look after our veterans and their children,” he said.