Top Students Awarded Merit Scholarships
Thanks to the generous support of two foundations that have a longstanding relationship with the College, ten exceptionally talented First Year OD students received scholarships at a luncheon presentation in the president’s suite on Tuesday, November 27.
For many years the two philanthropic organizations—the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation and the Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation—have provided financial assistance to a variety of organizations that focus on enhancing and improving the lives of people throughout the United States. The College has been a long-time recipient of their generosity, part of which is used to provide $1,500 merit scholarships to 10 high-achieving students from each OD class. The luncheon was designed to specifically recognize the First Year students and acknowledge their outstanding accomplishments. “These two foundations have been a regular source of support for the College for a long time,” said Ann Warwick, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Optometric Center. “We’ve had a fruitful partnership that has really benefited our students for many years.”
Noting that the group of eight female and two male students had arrived at the College from a wide variety of geographical locations, Dr. Jeffrey Philpott, Vice President for Student Affairs, recognized that it was this geographical diversity that helps to make SUNY a standout institution. “We are a collection of the best and the brightest students from everywhere,” he said.
College president Dr. David Heath remarked that that grants and scholarships like the ones offered by the Schnurmacher foundations, at least in part, help to make SUNY graduates some of the least indebted among their peers at optometry schools across the nation.
“Our hope is that in twenty years or so, when you’re all very successful in your careers, that you’ll remember back to your days as an optometry student and repay the favor with your own valuable support to the next generation of students,” Heath said.
In addition to their ongoing grant support to students, the Schnurmacher foundations have also assisted in facilitating research efforts at the College. Nearly three decades ago they helped to establish the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research which engages in a wide variety of projects including coordinating a colloquium series and supporting a range of innovative vision science research projects. Dr. David Troilo, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, reminded the scholarship recipients about the legacy that the Schnurmacher’s have with the institute and invited them all to attend the colloquia and the other events it regularly offers.
With their scholarships in hand, Philpott urged these exceptional students to build on their success at the College and work hard to become future leaders in optometry and the vision sciences. “By doing this,” he said, “you will become the best representatives of SUNY that we could ever hope for.”