From The Daily Star,
August, 28, 2005
By Denise Richardson
ONEONTA — The State University College at Oneonta has awarded $1 million
in scholarships to students this academic year.
That means about 675 students are receiving scholarships to help them
reach academic goals, said Paul J. Adamo, vice president for college
advancement. The awards range from $500 to full-tuition scholarships at
$4,350, he said.
"We’ve reached $1 million in scholarship awards for the first time in
the history of the college," Adamo said. "We’re very excited."
The scholarships are made with money given to the College Foundation and
the Alumni Association, he said, and the money includes private gifts from alumni, friends of the college, parents, foundations
The $1,000,875 awarded this year is an 86.7 percent increase from
$536,000 in awards five years ago, Adamo said.
"We write real checks and transfer real dollars to the college," Adamo
said. The college estimates 675 students will receive the awards, up
from 444 students in 2000-01, he said.
The scholarship total is directly related to the size of the endowment,
which has grown to $25 million this year from $18.1 million in 2000-01,
Adamo said. About 75 percent of the scholarship money is from the
endowment and 25 percent is from contributions specified to be
scholarships, he said.
Kenneth Kellerhouse, president of the College at Oneonta Foundation
board, said the board decides on policies for raising and investing
money and reaching a $1 million in scholarships was "quite a feat."
"It’s great," said Kellerhouse, who earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oneonta
in 1957 when there was no tuition. The more money the foundation can
raise, the more scholarships can be awarded, he said.
"I really believe in SUNY Oneonta and the education it gives students, and so
did my wife," said Kellerhouse, who also earned a master’s degree from
SUNY Oneonta and retired as a professor of education from the college in 1990.
He started a scholarship endowment in memory of his wife, Muriel
Kellerhouse, a theater professor who taught at SUNY Oneonta for 30 years, and
that is at $10,000, he said.
In 1995-96, SUNY Oneonta awarded 60 scholarships totaling $137,266, according to
information from the SUNY Oneonta Office of Advancement.
Criteria for scholarships include academic achievement, financial need,
major course of study and geographical regions, Adamo said. Students may
receive more than one scholarship, he said, and decisions on awards are
made by the SUNY Oneonta offices of admissions and financial aid.
The college has 144 scholarships named after a person, a class, a
professor, organization or other entity, Adamo said, and most awards are
renewable. Scholarships are awarded for tuition and expenses, such as
textbooks and room and board.
SUNY Oneonta’s alumni participation rate for giving is 17.4 percent, compared to
the national rate of 7 percent for similar public colleges, according to
this summer’s issue of Reflections, SUNY Oneonta’s alumni magazine. The
foundation board changed its policy this year and raised the gift amount
to $25,000 from $20,000 to endow a scholarship.
Husband and wife Robert Striffler and Sheila Sheridan Striffler, 1972
graduates, are chairman and chairwoman for the campaign, titled
"Changing Lives Since 1889." The campaign started July 1, 2002, and will
end June 30, 2007, Adamo said.
Sheridan Striffler said she and her husband were "financially
challenged" when they attended SUNY Oneonta and endowed a scholarship for
students who need aid. The recipients have included older students
attending college later in life, she said, and each recipient has
written a thank-you note.
"My husband and I had a terrific experience" at SUNY Oneonta, Sheridan Striffler
said. "It means a lot to us that we can give back."
She said reaching the $1 million mark in scholarships being awarded this
year was a thrill. But the achievement wasn’t a surprise, considering
the hard work done by fund-raising volunteers and SUNY Oneonta advancement
office staff to help students, she said.
"Education means everything," she said.
The college is in the third year of a campaign to raise $10 million,
Adamo said. More than $7 million already has been raised, he said, and
expectations are to exceed the goal.
"We’re not standing still," he said. "We want it to be ever more because
our students deserve our support and students and their families need