A gift to DePauw University from a 1976 alumnus and his wife will help fund student internships through the university.
Rick and Jan Neville have made a $1 million commitment to the university's Hubbard Center for Student Engagement in support of student internship experiences, particularly through DePauw's Signature Internship Program.
"The opportunities provided by this gift will open countless doors for our students," DePauw President Brian W. Casey said. "Connecting the liberal arts with the professional world has been a strength of this university's for generations.
"With this gift from Rick and Jan," Casey added, "we can reinforce this hallmark of the DePauw experience, providing these transformative experiences to even greater numbers of DePauw students."
Rick Neville is a member of DePauw's Board of Trustees and a 1976 graduate of the university. As an undergraduate, Neville interned with legendary alumnus and former trustee James W. Emison III, the former chairman and CEO of Western Petroleum Co.
In speaking about his gift, Neville called his internship with Emison, a 1952 DPU grad, a central motivation for supporting internship programming at DePauw.
"I owe nearly my entire professional career to an internship that DePauw helped set up for me with an incredible alumnus," Neville said. "Jan and I want to be sure that students today have that same opportunity to find their passion and develop the experiences and confidence that will equip them to succeed."
With the support of the gift, the Hubbard Center for Student Engagement -- DePauw's home for comprehensive advising for internships, career planning, off-campus study, and other experiential programs -- will expand its support for summer internship stipends and student grants.
"We know that there is a direct connection between meaningful internship experiences and helping our students secure their first job," Raj Bellani, dean for Experiential Learning and Career Preparation, said. "Our job is to do everything in our power to be sure that all of our students take advantage of these opportunities. Gifts like this one will help to make that possible."
Under the university's Signature Internship Program, DePauw students have access to grant dollars that cover living expenses for summer internships. For many students, these dollars make the difference in their ability to accept or forego an internship.
In 2013, nearly 50 students received summer internships through the program. In total, nearly two-thirds of DePauw students complete at least one internship by the time they graduate.
Rick Neville '76, a psychology major at DePauw, is the president of Western Petroleum Co. In addition to his service on the board of trustees, he is a past member of the DePauw Board of Visitors and the Washington C. DePauw Society Executive Committee.
Jan Neville is a 1980 graduate of Iowa State University. She co-leads the Women's Congress for Future Generations, a movement emphasizing clean, healthy and humane solutions to current human rights and environmental challenges.
The Women's Congress is also a prospective internship host for DePauw students, particularly as it plans its Upper Midwest Conference.
Rick and Jan live in Eden Prairie, Minn.