Scholarship reception celebrates students, donors

SUNY New Paltz scholarship recipients and their guests met with donors, alumni, faculty and Foundation Board members at the 2022 Scholarship Reception, a celebration of the community’s continued philanthropic investment in student success.

“Philanthropic gifts ensure that our most talented and deserving students have the opportunity to rise to their full academic potential,” said Marilee Abramshe, assistant director of stewardship at the College. “This event allows us to celebrate our student’s success while giving them the opportunity to thank those who positively contributed to their learning experience.”

This year’s reception was held on April 22 and remarks were given by philanthropist Richard Adler ’77 (Psychology; Sociology), a celebrated alumnus and recognized expert attorney on brain injury and personal injury.

Adler and his spouse Donna Adler ’77 (Sociology) created the Professor Ken Skelton Sociology Endowed Scholarship for Social Change at SUNY New Paltz. This fund provides a scholarship to academically talented undergraduate sociology majors who excel in their coursework and work outside of the classroom to foster and advance equality, justice, and progressive social change.

“You have learned something through your life experience that people of privilege don’t,” said Adler to the student scholarship recipients in the audience. “You now have emotional intelligence, combined with an academic prowess that is a gift far beyond privilege.” 

Many New Paltz alumni, like the Adlers, offer gifts to students through the SUNY New Paltz Foundation. Their contributions include both monetary gifts and the gift of sharing their time to attend events and engage with the College. Both types of philanthropy play an important role in helping students prosper.

The event also included a musical performance by Alexa Marie Fini ’20 (Music) ’23g (Music Therapy), the recipient of more than 10 scholarships during her time at New Paltz, and remarks from Britney Huston ’23 (Digital Media Production), a member of the Scholar’s Mentorship Program (SMP).

Huston was a recipient of the Dr. Margaret Wade-Lewis Scholarship, named in memory of one of the founders of New Paltz’s Black Studies Department and in honor of her dedication to helping academically talented students.

“I would like to thank the Dr. Margaret Wade-Lewis donors and the individuals who keep SMP up and running for their contributions towards young, prosperous students of color like myself,” said Huston. “As an African American from a low-income, single-parent household in an urban area, I noticed how the education system never intended for someone like me to make it this far in life. However, it is good to know that people are rooting for me, my success, and working tirelessly to keep me and those like me on the right path.”

Please visit The Foundation online to learn more about the many ways donors can impact the lives of New Paltz students.