Genesee Community College Foundation Scholarships Improve Lives

“The main reason I chose to be involved with Genesee Community College’s Scholarship drive is I’ve witnessed, firsthand, that scholarships improve lives, “ said Todd Bender of Batavia, Class of 1989 and general chair of the 2007-2008 annual campaign for Genesee Community College Foundation.

Bender was addressing a group of volunteers who are participating in the campaign. He added that it is a top priority of the Foundation that every student has access to a quality higher education regardless of his or her ability to pay. State and Federal financial assistance help many students, but for some students it isn’t quite enough and a $500 or $1,000 scholarship can bridge the gap and allow the student to enroll, Bender stated. Today, many, if not most, Genesee students work 40 hours a week and still attend classes full-time. They may also have families to support, but they are planning for the future to improve their skills and train or re-train for better jobs.

He added, “I’m a GCC alumnus and many of my friends and colleagues are too. There are over 18,000 Genesee grads and 60-70% live and work in the western New York region. They fill many jobs vital to the health and well-being of our communities. Six of the twelve volunteers leading this year’s campaign are GCC grads!”

The theme for the campaign is Genesee at 40, celebrating the past 40 years of the College and looking ahead to the next 40 years. In the 2006-2007 academic year scholarships and grants totaling $301,513 were awarded. Awards include President’s Scholarships, honors awards, Special Talent awards in arts and athletics, need-based awards, emergency grants, corporate, community and program awards.

Volunteers leading in this year’s campaign as chairs and co-chairs are:
• Charlie Brown of Arcade, manager, Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc., Wyoming Division
• Ben Mancuso, III of Pittsford, vice president/broker, Charles Mancuso and Son, Genesee Division
• Andrew Young ’89, of Batavia, president, Reliant Real Estate, Genesee Division
• James Whipple of Lyndonville, executive director, Orleans County Economic Development Agency, Orleans Division
• Monica Dawson, ’72, of Batavia, secretary, Shepard, Maxwell and Hale Insurance Agency, Associates Division and
• John Marchese ’80 of Basom, general manager, United Rentals, Associates Division
• James Culbertson of Dansville, county clerk, Livingston County, Livingston Division
• Laurie Thornley ’89 of Batavia, area coordinator, Planned Parenthood, Alumni Division
• Robert Boyce of LeRoy, broker, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Heritage Division
• Ray and Patty Chaya of Batavia, director and associate dean respectively, Genesee Community College, Faculty and Staff Division
• Brian Daviau ’81 of Batavia, manager, Markin Tubing, Leadership Division

The Genesee Community College Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing service and support to Genesee Community College. The Foundation is led by a thirty member board of directors comprised of local business and civic leaders. Donors may choose to support general or specific programs or remember a relative or friend with a memorial gift. Donors with cumulative gifts over $1,000 are recognized on the Wall of Honor in the William W. Stuart Forum at the Batavia campus. Gifts to the campaign may be sent to the Genesee Community College Foundation, One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020. For further information call (585) 345-6809, write to the address above, or to

Editor’s note: A photograph of the committee is available at:

Seated: Brian Daviau, ‘81 Leadership Division Chair; Laurie Thornley,’89 Alumni Division Chair; Patty Chaya, Faculty and Staff Division Co-Chair; Patti Pacino, GCC Alumni Coordinator; Todd Bender, ’89 Annual Campaign Chair. Standing: Richard Ensman, Director of External Affairs, GCC; Charlie Brown, Wyoming Division Chair; John Marchese, ’80 Associates Division Co-Chair; James Whipple, Orleans Division Chair; Robert Boyce, Heritage Division Chair; Benjamin Mancuso, III, Genesee Division Co-Chair