As reported by the Associated Press, November 16, 2004.

Aetna, Chief Executive Give $3.5 Million to UConn for Health Programs

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut has received $3.5 million from insurance giant Aetna and its chief executive to fund university health programs, the school announced Tuesday.

UConn received $2 million from the Aetna Foundation to support the University of Connecticut Health Center's Health Professions Partnership Initiative and $1.5 million from Aetna chairman and chief executive John W. Rowe and his wife, Valerie, to fund the John and Valerie Rowe Health Professions Scholars Program.

The gifts will be eligible for matching grants from the state, raising an additional $1.75 million.

The money from Hartford-based Aetna and the Rowes will help recruit talented students, said Philip E. Austin, president of the university.

"It builds upon our efforts to continue to attract the state's best and brightest young scholars and ensures that they are included in the 'brain gain' in the state of Connecticut," he said.

The money will be used for a middle school program to increase students' awareness of health professions and improve academic preparedness for education in the health professions. It also will be used for college preparation and a summer program for incoming UConn freshmen interested in the health professions.

When fully funded, the Rowe endowment will provide an educational stipend of $3,000 to 12 entering students each year.