YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – For the second time in less than a month, Youngstown State University has received a seven-figure donation.
Flor “Shorty” Navarro and wife, Elba Lillian, made a $1 million donation to fund a scholarship endowment that will also go toward a new endowment to increase the number of campus jobs for students.
“You know, this was a huge day because we’re all about students, and the Navarros’ gift was all about giving students opportunities to come with scholarships. The cost of higher education, as you know, is tough, and so to lower that cost is tremendous,” YSU President Jim Tressel said.
Navarro, the oldest of 11 children, immigrated to the United States from Puerto Rico in 1951, at the age of 14. He is an East High School graduate and owns the Stadium GM Superstore in Salem.
Elba Navarro graduated from South High School in Youngstown and earned several degrees from YSU. She retired as a teacher from Youngstown City Schools.
The Navarros are among the leading philanthropists in the Mahoning Valley, according to YSU. In 2010, Shorty was named the Outstanding Philanthropist in the Mahoning Valley by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
In 2001, the couple established a $100,000 scholarship fund to benefit Hispanic students attending YSU. In addition, Shorty Navarro contributed $100,000 toward the construction of the new Veterans Resource Center at YSU. Shorty and Elba are members of the YSU President’s Council.
“YSU is a pillar of the community; as YSU goes, so goes the Mahoning Valley,” Shorty Navarro said. “We are excited about President Tressel’s leadership and the future of the university, and we look forward to even bigger and better things to come.”