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Mary Lee and Paul M. Pope, Jr. Excellence Endowment

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Mary Lee and Paul M. Pope, Jr. established this fund in 2002 to support academic and student programs in the University of Florida’s College of Engineering.

A graduate of UF’s civil engineering program in 1937, Pope enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the North Africa and Anzio campaigns during World War II. His career as an oil company executive began in 1947 when he was hired to work for Humble Oil and Refining Company (Exxon Mobil). A public education activist, Pope was made a National Life Member of the Parent Teachers Association.

Mary Lee Pope earned her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and her master’s from the University of Mississippi. She taught high school English in Mississippi and later became a reporter at The Hattiesburg American in Mississippi.

Paul passed away on May 30, 2001 and Mary passed away on May 31, 2002. The couple had three children, John, Brenda and Cynthia.

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