Submitted photo and press release:
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many across the world requiring every qualified medical professional to assist with this crisis. Despite the negativity and disruption to daily work and routines, many acts of kindness and generosity have bonded citizens and rekindled devotion to saving lives and minimizing pain or discomfort.
This ripple effect has also made its way to Genesee Community College. In the most difficult times, Antoinette and Emmett Clancy reached out to bear wonderful news.
The Clancy's contacted Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs, Jennifer Wakefield, inspired by news stories of selfless medical professionals aiding patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They recounted one emotional story in particular, at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey last week, when an unidentified man held up a sign to the hospital window thanking medical staff for saving his wife's life.
"And this is why we love what we do as nurses," Antoinette (née Marchese) Clancy said, "directly helping others and making their lives better."
The Clancy's have decided to award an additional 10 scholarships for the 2020/2021 academic year to support second year nursing students who have exhibited dedication and excellence in their first year of study, and promise to continue this distinction in their second year.
"Nurses are the backbone of the medical system. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, there is no better time to recognize nurses and their role in the system," Clancy said.
"Because of the Clancy Family's generosity and love for Genesee Community College and the community in which they were raised, they recognized the need to continue assisting nursing students to complete their education," James M. Sunser, Ed.D., president of Genesee Community College said.
"The increased number of scholarships will not only help in the fight against COVID-19, but will help increase the number of skilled rural nurses in Western New York which we so desperately need."
Last fall, the Antoinette Marchese Clancy Scholarship Fund was established through a generous gift from the Clancy family and recognizes Antoinette, GCC Class of 1974.
Each year going forward, this scholarship will support several second-year GCC nursing students who are academically in the upper third of the class and have illustrated excellence in their clinical performance.
Antoinette Marchese grew up in Batavia and in 1970 graduated from Notre Dame High School where she had met her husband, Emmett Clancy. After working as a nurse's aide at St. Jerome's Hospital, she enrolled at D'Youville College, but transferred and graduated from GCC in 1974 earning the Nursing Excellence Award, an honor that is still very important to her.
The Clancy family, now residing in California, has grown to include five children and 11 grandchildren throughout their 45-year marriage.
The formal recognition reception with the Clancy's in attendance was scheduled next month on May 14. Their visit was to be a highlight of the 50th Anniversary of GCC's Nursing Program and the annual nursing graduation ceremony. The ceremony will be postponed to May 2021.
"Just as the Olympics have been postponed until 2021, so has celebrating the 50th Golden Anniversary of Genesee Community College's Antoinette Marchese Clancy School of Nursing. We will celebrate the 2020 milestone and the success of the program in May 2021," Emmett Clancy said.