Genesee Community College Foundation's Annual Campaign is underway. This year's theme is "Extraordinary."
"Everyone has a vested interest in making this campaign a success," said Le Roy resident Robert Boyce, foundation board director and general chair of the campaign. "A stronger Genesee Community College helps make our Western New York region a better place to live and work for all of us. Campaign division chairs share the responsibility to attract and retain students and to promote the value of the college to the community."
He added that there are several divisions in the Extraordinary Campaign. Each division chair is responsible for a portion of the overall $459,000 goal. Division chairs include:
Associates Division: Jane Scott, of Stafford, branch manager, Five Star Bank
Batavia Faculty and Staff Division: Marirose Ethington, of Pavilion, professor of biology
Genesee Division: Michael Grammatico, of Batavia, vice president, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors
Heritage Division: Patrick Forsyth of Batavia, CPA, John J. Forsyth, CPA, PC and foundation board director
Leadership Division: Roger Christiano, of Batavia, president, Christiano Cellular and foundation board director
"Independent auditors estimate a $501 million dollar impact of the college on our region," Boyce said. "The figure includes college spending, faculty, staff and student spending and the increased earning power of graduates who remain in the region.
"This extraordinary impact alone is justification for encouraging students to attend Genesee as high school students obtaining college credit, as potential transfer students to a four-year college, or as students seeking degrees or certificates to prepare for specific careers. As community members, we encourage enrollment at the college through our involvement and our financial support of the foundation's programs."
Leadership Chair and foundation Board Member Christiano said the new campaign theme, Extraordinary, reflects the many positive and special aspects of the college.
"Our financial gifts support excellence in the classroom through scholarship incentives to students with the potential for high academic achievement, and we make higher education available to all area residents who are capable, regardless of their ability to pay," Christiano said. "The economic vitality that the college brings to our region is tremendous as tomorrow's leaders are trained and our local workforce is strengthened through career and certificate programs such as nursing, respiratory care, physical therapy assistant, human services, business, criminal justice, marketing and retail."
The college's enrollment is at a record level this year with over 7,200 full- and part-time students. The Extraordinary campaign's overall goal of $459,000 includes $80,000 for an endowment challenge grant from the federal Department of Education.
"Only a small number of community colleges across the nation receive the endowment challenge grant each year," said Professor Ethington, Chair of the Faculty and Staff Division. "Fortunately, Genesee Community College was awarded one this fall and for five successive years the endowment challenge grant will match, dollar for dollar, every dollar we raise on behalf of students in need, up to $80,000 a year.
"Each year, as we achieve our goal, we will build our endowment by $160,000. This means that after five years the endowment will have $800,000 to support awards to deserving students. Our 2009-2010 campaign is committed to meeting the endowment challenge grant. We are paying ahead for future students and to do this, college employee, corporate and community support is vital."
The Genesee Community College Foundation was formed in the mid-'80s as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing service to and support of the college. Its 30-member board of directors is comprised of business and civic leaders, and last year, the foundation's philanthropic support provided 536 scholarships to Genesee students totaling $284,184.
Contributions for support for the college programs and students may be sent to the Genesee Community College Foundation, One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020. For more information contact the foundation (585) 345-6809 or [email protected]. <http:[email protected]>