Former SUNY Professors Establish Single-Parent Scholarship

NEW PALTZ — Two former faculty members at the State University of New York at New Paltz have created a scholarship to benefit students who are single parents and either attending or planning to attend SUNY New Paltz. The first scholarship will be awarded for the academic year 1999-2000 and will cover full in-state tuition, per semester, for one or more students. Applications are now being accepted.

Irma and David Goldknopf, of New Paltz, faculty emeriti in English, established the new scholarship fund with a gift of $10,000. The full-tuition award will be given annually to one or more students who are fully matriculated. Recipients are eligible to reapply each year.

In order to qualify for the scholarship, an applicant must document that he or she is a single parent who attends or plans to attend SUNY New Paltz, demonstrate a high degree of academic competence and establish that he or she has financial needs which jeopardize continued academic progress. To be eligible, applicants who are undergraduate students must take a minimum of 12 credits each semester. Graduate degree candidates must be in good standing, having met all admission requirements for a chosen course of study.

The Goldknopfs are quite familiar with the student environment at SUNY New Paltz. Together they have nearly 50 years of college teaching experience. Both began as instructors, in 1961 and 1968, respectively. David, who retired in 1983, was an associate professor at the time. Irma was also an associate professor at the time of her retirement, in 1997. Both had earned their doctoral degrees at Syracuse University.

It was this base of experience and knowledge of students that led them to look at finding a way to assist single parents.

“We both felt that our older and single-parent students were among the most serious,” said Irma Goldknopf. “The single parent has to reconcile obligations of academia and family and often a part-time job. They are most in jeopardy of being pulled in other directions and we thought that we could be helpful.”

“This is truly a gift from the heart,” said Rick Podgorski, New Paltz vice president for advancement. “During their years on the faculty, the Goldknopfs became familiar with the unique needs of students who are single parents or guardians. As soon as they had an opportunity to do something meaningful to help these deserving students, they did. We are not only grateful for their generosity, but also for the insight and compassion that accompany this gift.”

Persons interested in applying for a fall 1999 scholarship should contact Judy Herron, director of annual giving and donor relations, SUNY New Paltz, 845-257-3239.