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On Wednesday, the Urban Land Institute Foundation (ULI) announced that it had received a $1 million donation from Bruce Etkin, a chairman of Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners and a ULI Foundation Trustee.

The ULI is a non-profit education and research institute headquartered in Washington DC. It has 52 District counsels and over 45,000 members around the world.

The institute provides an abundance of case studies, analysis, and panels on issues and innovation pertaining to real estate and urban development.

Per the press release, the donation will be put toward the creation of an educational program for aspiring real estate professionals in part-time or full-time undergraduate or graduate programs. They can be located in the US, Canada, or Mexico. Students who are enrolled in certificate programs are also eligible. 

“We are grateful for the generosity and life-long commitment Bruce has shown ULI,” W. Edward Walter, the global CEO of ULI, said in the press release. “Bruce is one of our most highly engaged members, and we thank him for investing in the next generation of leaders of ULI.”

Participants of the program will receive access to a variety of resources including a ULI Associate Membership, ULI’s five-course Foundations of Real Estate Certificate, recordings of past panel discussions and presentations, and free admission to most local ULI events.

“Every time I engage with young people in real estate, I come away inspired by what’s ahead for our industry,” Etkin said in the release. “I feel fortunate to be able to help the real estate leaders of the future partake in the many benefits of ULI membership, as I have throughout my career.”

The first round of the program will take place during the 2021/2022 school year and will admit 80 to 100 students.

“In line with ULI’s strategic objective to educate diverse future leaders, the ULI Etkin Scholars Program will connect students to their local ULI District Council for interdisciplinary networking and learning opportunities,” Gretchen Sweeney, director of awards and university partnerships at ULI, told Inman. “The program will improve their understanding of the professional roles and disciplines that contribute to best practices and innovation in real estate and land use globally, and will introduce them to all that ULI has to offer throughout their careers. Our goal is to grow this program to additional District Councils in the years ahead.”

Per Sweeney, applicants will be judged on the following attributes: their academic standing, the recommendation their letter of recommendation, their commitment to ULI’s mission, their leadership potential, and their commitment to and/or ability to advance ULI’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

The first year of the program will support applicants from four District Councils, which have yet to be named. But over the next five years, the program aims to support applicants in 20. 

The application will go live in late August.

Email Libertina Brandt

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