Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Starting a Scholarship in Memory of a Favorite Professor

Dana Brand
Hofstra students, alumni, faculty and staff were saddened by the passing of many inspiring and impactful faculty members over 2011-2012. Among them were Professors Emeriti Bruce Adkinson, Hyman Enzer, Paul Harper, Mary Elizabeth Gilbert Ligon, George Jackson and Lenore Sandel. Other losses were Professor of English and former Chair of the Department of English Dana Brand, Associate Professor of Psychology Vincent Brown, Sociology Professor William M. Dobriner, Professor of Computer Science Jay Mendelsohn, and Associate Professor of English Robert Sulcer.

Family members, alumni and faculty have helped establish scholarships at Hofstra to memorialize professors who inspired many student success stories and contributed in a positive way to campus life. In recent years, awards and scholarships have been created to honor Drs. Brand, Brown, Harper, Mendelsohn, Sandel, and Jackson, as well as Professor Emeritus of Drama Richard Mason, Professor Emerita of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences Ellen Parker, former Dean and Professor Emeritus of Law Eric Schmertz and Professor Emeritus of Music Albert Tepper, all of whom passed away in 2010.

There are two types of scholarships:

Endowed scholarships continue in perpetuity. A minimum gift of $25,000 (paid one time or over several years) is required to establish an endowed scholarship, and additional contributions may be made at any time. Investment income from an endowment provides scholarship assistance for one or more deserving students.

Annual scholarships require a minimum gift of $5,000, paid one time. The scholarship may be renewed annually or pledged for multiple years. An annual scholarship established with a minimum commitment of $10,000 ensures that a deserving student will receives significant support throughout his/her four years of college. Annual scholarships can be renewed so as to benefit multiple students.

According to Margaret Shields, director for stewardship at Hofstra, it is helpful if the person or group who initiates a scholarship in the memory of a Hofstra professor or administrator is connected to family members, friends and colleagues of the person who is being memorialized. Mobilizing support for the scholarship is often key to its success. Additional gifts to an endowment or to an annual scholarship mean more students can be supported through the scholarship or more financial assistance can be provided to current recipients.

Professor and Chair of the English Department Joseph Fitchtelberg reached out to friends, students, alumni and colleagues of Dana Brand to help create a scholarship in his memory. “As soon as I heard the news of his passing, I felt I needed to do something to keep his name and memory alive. With the help of Meredith Celentano, assistant vice president for Development and Alumni Affairs, I began the Dana Brand Memorial Scholarship Fund. We raised money throughout the year, soliciting from colleagues and from the many followers of Dana’s blog, ‘Mets Fan.’ We also began a book drive. Colleagues donated hundreds of books, which we sold throughout the year for a dollar apiece. Every time a student bought a book, I felt like we were honoring his spirit and his influence.” To date, $11,000 has been raised for the scholarship in Dr. Brand’s name.

Hofstra alumni and friends who would like to contribute to a memorial scholarship may find a full listing of endowed Hofstra scholarships at bulletin.hofstra.edu (click on “Tuition, Financial Aid & Scholarships” in the left margin). Gifts can be made online at hofstra.edu/giving. Those who would like to make a gift to an existing scholarship must specifically designate it in the memo line of their check. When making a gift online, there is a field titled “Your gift designation,” which allows the donor to indicate a specific person to honor or a specific program to benefit from the gift.

For more information on establishing an endowed or annual scholarship, contact Margaret Shields at 516-463-6561 or Margaret.Shields@hofstra.edu.


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