Matching Gift Challenge earns $15K for The Legislative Gazette at SUNY New Paltz

When the John Ben Snow Foundation challenged SUNY New Paltz to raise funds to support SUNY New Paltz students from underrepresented communities to participate in The Legislative Gazette internship program, they promised to match up to $7,500.

Members of the SUNY New Paltz community accepted the challenge and met the original goal, raising $7,537 as of Dec. 15, 2022, with the $7,500 match bringing the total to $15,037.

“The New Paltz community came together to make this challenge a success,” said Erica Marks, vice president of development & alumni relations, and executive director of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation. “This kind of generosity helps to assure the future of the free press, one that includes the views of a broader cross-section of students.”

The Legislative Gazette is published as an educational project under the auspices of the Digital Media and Journalism Department at New Paltz and fosters diverse voices and perspectives in media through a valuable work-learn opportunity for students. With direct scholarship support, The Gazette can alleviate some financial burden associated with the internship and expand access to this program for students from traditionally underrepresented groups in journalism.

The John Ben Snow Foundation’s matching gift of $7,500, plus the additional $7,537 from other donors, will be broken down into several scholarships to provide travel expenses for SUNY New Paltz students so they can spend an entire semester working in the state Capitol in Albany. Without travel assistance money, many students simply are not able to make the weekly trips from New Paltz to Albany, pay for parking, or eat while they are in the state Capitol.

“This funding from the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, matched by our generous donors, will ensure that every student who wants to participate in The Legislative Gazette internship program this year will be able to spend time in the state Capitol, working alongside professional reporters, and benefitting from the truly immersive reporting experience that sets our internship apart,” said James Gormley, the Gazette’s editor.

As a nonprofit news organization, The Gazette relies on decades-long support from the University as well as generous grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation, and others, to continue its mission of educating student journalists and providing objective news for readers.

Support for the Legislative Gazette’s Matching Gift Challenge came from all segments of the New Paltz community, including several faculty, staff and their families, Foundation Board directors, a number of longtime donors, and many alumni of the program.

“I once interned for the Legislative Gazette, and it was definitely a great experience,” said Cesar Done ’18 (Journalism). “I took photos for articles in Albany and on campus and the team also taught me how to do research, interview, and write articles. Overall, it was a fun time during my internship with them and I thought that contributing to the giving challenge was the least I could do to say thank you.”

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About the Legislative Gazette

The Legislative Gazette is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization with a mission of keeping New Yorkers informed about the politics, policy, and people of New York State government. The digital newspaper is published as an educational internship project under the auspices of the Digital Media and Journalism Department at SUNY New Paltz.

The Gazette program has operated since 1978 and boasts two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, Alex Storozynski and Roe D’Angelo, among its hundreds of alumni. Graduates have worked, and are currently working at news organizations such as Wall Street Journal, NY Daily News, NY Post, Albany Times Union, Schenectady Gazette, Hartford Courant, Oneonta Daily Star, Kingston Freeman, Poughkeepsie Journal, Times Herald-Record, and The Associated Press.


About The John Ben Snow Foundation

The John Ben Snow Foundation, Inc. was established in 1948 by John Ben Snow and continues to operate under the terms of its original charter. The present Board includes persons of diverse occupational backgrounds and geographic areas. The John Ben Snow Foundation focuses funding for tax-exempt organizations serving Central New York across a range of program areas.


About the SUNY New Paltz Foundation

Founded in 1976, the SUNY New Paltz Foundation works to enrich the quality of academic life at New Paltz by raising private contributions. Gifts to the Foundation enhance the teaching, learning and discovery that takes place on campus, and allow New Paltz to enrich the cultural, economic, and social fabric of the Mid-Hudson region. Visit the SUNY New Paltz Foundation Board online for more information.