Sikorski Family

Alumnus’ planned gift will support English scholarships


Alumnus’ planned gift will support English scholarships

The University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences has received a planned gift to create the Drs. Henry and Francine Sikorski Endowed Scholarship Fund in English.

Henry Sikorski, A.B. ’70, and his wife, Francine D. Sikorski, made a generous $1 million bequest to provide scholarship support for UM students majoring in English. The Sikorskis, of Garden City, New York, are both professors of English.

The gift will provide life-changing opportunities through vital scholarships to undergraduate students in the Department of English. The couple hopes the scholarships will encourage future students to pursue their dreams while gaining equal access to higher education.

“As educators our entire lives, and as the first generation of our respective families to complete a college degree, my wife and I believe in the value and power of higher education to change lives,” said Sikorski.

Sikorski credits positive experiences at the University with motivating him to pursue his graduate studies.

“I received an excellent education at the University of Miami. I was taught to think critically and to analyze literature thoroughly… I became a more skilled communicator and a stronger writer.”   

In his career at Farmingdale State College (SUNY), Sikorski progressed from tenured full professor into administration, eventually serving as vice president and chief development officer. Now retired from full-time service, Sikorski stays busy as an adjunct professor of composition and literature at Nassau Community College on Long Island, where his wife has been a professor for 26 years.

“While teaching my introduction to literature classes, I often remember myself as an undergraduate, and how I was inspired by the English faculty at the U to pursue a career in academia. My work as a professor of English literature and composition has been the result of my classroom experiences at the U over 50 years ago,” he said.

The Sikorskis chose to create their gift through a charitable bequest. A bequest is a popular option for donors considering a charitable gift, as it can be designated in a will or trust, a bank or retirement account, or even a life insurance policy. One of the easiest and most flexible ways to make a planned gift, a bequest allows the donor to retain control over assets during their lifetime, while making a lasting impact on the University’s future and yielding returns for students, faculty and the entire community for years to come.

Sikorski expects the bequest to be “transformational in that it will empower students to complete their studies, to become scholars, researchers and, most significantly, inspirational teachers.

“My wife and I are convinced that our bequest to the University of Miami will be one of the best investments in the futures of others we will ever make.” 

To explore gift strategies that will meet both your financial needs and your philanthropic goals, or to learn more about the benefits of making a charitable bequest, please visit or contact Kyle Paige, executive director, estate and gift planning, at or 305-284-2266.