Genesee Foundation Sets Record Scholarship Donations

The Genesee Community College Foundation provided funding for a record number of scholarships last year, Director of Development and External Affairs Richard Ensman reported to the Board of Trustees this evening. During the 2002-2003 year, the Foundation 512 awards totaling $234,567.

The Foundation's scholarship funding has increased sharply over the last several years. The 2002-2003 awards were 20% higher than the $195,254 in scholarships awarded during the 2001-2002 year and 54% higher than the $151,979 awarded in 2000-2001.

Scholarships help attract talented students to Genesee Community College, promote study in fields critical to the local economy, and provide aid to needy students, Mr. Ensman told the Board. Scholarship dollars raised and awarded by the Foundation also leverage funds from other sources, such as financial aid. "A dollar awarded in scholarship aid often brings in seven, eight, or even nine dollars from other sources," Mr. Ensman said.

The Genesee Community College Foundation is a charitable organization that promotes volunteer and philanthropic support for the College. Formed in the mid-1980s, the Foundation has raised more than $5 million in support for the College over the years. It is governed by a thirty-member Board of Directors comprised of civic and business leaders. The Foundation raises funds through its annual campaign, special fund raising events, and earnings from its endowment fund.

A growing priority of the Foundation is educational access, Mr. Ensman reported. The Foundation provides funds to help students who might be unable to enroll in college - or leave college - because of short-term financial emergencies. During the 2000-2001 year, the Foundation provided 79 need-based grants to students facing financial hardship. Last year, 2002-2003, the Foundation provided 144 need-based grants.

Although scholarships remain the Foundation's highest priority, the Foundation Board recently approved a new "President's Innovation" grant program. This program will soon provide seed funding for college initiatives that result in community involvement and academic innovation. The Foundation also sponsored the highly successful "Investing in Our Future" capital campaign five years ago that raised funds in support of the Conable Technology Building and other Batavia Campus improvements.