The Giving Spirit of Gators

“These awards are all about celebrating the spirit of service and generosity,” says Tom Mitchell, vice president for development and alumni affairs. “This spirit has long been a significant part of our culture at the University of Florida. Over the past year alone, the work of educators, researchers and students has moved forward in a big way because of the extensive support of many individuals who have shared not only their very generous gifts but also their time and amazing talents.”

Lifetime Volunteer Award – Kelley Bergstrom (MBA ’68)

UFalumniAlthough Kelley Bergstrom, Alpha Omicron (Iowa State), and his wife, Joan, lived in Chicago for more than 20 years, their involvement with UF was extensive. Now residing in Florida Keys, the Bergstroms have come full circle – back to the state and closer to the university that means so much to them. 

Bergstrom earned his MBA at UF and put it to good use, founding successful real estate and private equity investment groups throughout his career. Bergstrom has consistently given back to UF in numerous ways, particularly in working to enhance the quality and visibility of the university’s real estate programs. He joined the UF Foundation Board a decade ago, serving as chairman in 2013. 

To his daughter, Allison (MBA’96), he has always been an example of leadership. “When he tends to get involved with things, it’s not just a little bit; it’s a lot. He’s a leader.”

John Kraft, Ph.D., dean of Warrington College of Business Administration, knows Bergstrom has served on UF’s real estate and business advisory councils and established an endowment to maintain the Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies at the college.

“Whenever Kelley’s involved with something, he wants to make it the best it can be and tries to encourage [others] to find ways to make that happen,” Kraft says. “There are many people who participate; there are very few who have made a difference. Kelley has made a difference.”