Opening Doors and Changing Lives

Worldwide Campus professor creates scholarships for military veterans

With eight university degrees and 30 years spent living abroad, Donna Roberts has always had a love of learning.

“Education opens doors and changes people’s lives in tangible ways,” she says.

Roberts is a dual alumna of Embry-Riddle (2010), as well as associate professor and chair of the social sciences and economics department and chair of undergraduate research at the Worldwide Campus in Germany. She says she wanted to help students who share her passion for education, especially those in the military.

That is why Roberts and her husband, Sergio Del Bianco, recently made a generous planned gift to Embry-Riddle, creating an endowed scholarship in their names. The couple, who met in Italy and have been together 22 years, are also funding a term scholarship to immediately help undergraduate or graduate students with financial need.

“Valuing education so much, I wanted to give back to something that is meaningful to me,” she says.

The gift grew out of a conversation the couple had about the legacy they wanted to leave and what was most important to them. They worked with a university development officer who led them through the process of making a planned gift and establishing the scholarships. It was very simple and straightforward, she says.  

Roberts, who has worked for nearly 15 years for the Worldwide Campus in Italy and Germany, says Embry-Riddle has provided her with many wonderful opportunities, and she is happy to give back to its students on such a personal level. Given the chance, she says she and Del Bianco look forward to meeting their scholarship recipients.    

“Embry-Riddle students are people who are going to change the world, and we want to help them reach those goals,” she says.