The gift establishes the $25,000 Pathfinder Bank Opportunities Scholarship Endowment and will provide $5,000 to make current awards of $1,000 for the first five years, beginning in fall 2016.
Since its founding in 1859, Pathfinder Bank -- Oswego County's oldest financial institution -- has worked hard to support the community that it serves. From sponsoring the annual showing of the holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Oswego Cinema 7 to providing loans to locally owned companies, the bank and its employees give time, leadership and financial resources to those organizations that help the region grow and thrive.
"That's why it's so easy to be supportive of SUNY Oswego because nothing has greater impact on the local economy than SUNY Oswego and its faculty and student population," said Pathfinder CEO Thomas W. Schneider. "The organization has been such a shining example of leadership and growth, and it has progressively positioned itself for the future."
The bank decided to establish the scholarship to help ensure a well-educated and diverse workforce for the region's future.
"For our economy as a region, as a state and nation to be successful, we have to be conscious of economic inclusion as a goal toward success," Schneider said. "Nothing breaks the cycle of generational poverty -- the cycle of economic hardship -- better than higher education, so creating opportunities for those with financial need to get an education and reset their future is positive to our social climate, our economic climate and our cultural climate. We see SUNY Oswego actively engaged in being a force in making that happen, and we feel fortunate to be able to contribute in a small way."
SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley expressed the college's gratitude for Pathfinder's substantial gift.
"For even longer than SUNY Oswego has been around -- and we've been here for 154 years -- Pathfinder Bank has been serving this community," Stanley said. "The company's decision to establish this scholarship continues that tradition, and will help ensure that a SUNY Oswego education is affordable to students who may desperately want to attend college but may not have the financial means to do so. Through this scholarship, Pathfinder supports our mission to provide a transformative experience to a diverse body of students, empowering them to live meaningful lives and build a better world. We are grateful to have such a longstanding and generous partner in our community."
SUNY Oswego freshmen, sophomores or juniors who have completed at least 12 credits, maintain a 2.8 GPA or higher and have demonstrated financial need will be eligible to apply for the $1,000 scholarship, which will be automatically renewed for a maximum of three years.
Interested students must also submit a 150-word essay demonstrating how they have overcome a disadvantage or impediment to succeed in higher education or how they have contributed to the diversity of the student body in their major or extracurricular activity.
The scholarship is just one way Pathfinder supports the college and its mission. The bank also sponsors an annual men's ice hockey tournament, athletics excellence funds, the GENIUS Olympiad and other special programs, as well as encouraging its staff members to serve on college advisory boards and sharing their professional expertise as adjunct professors in classes.
For more information about the scholarship, contact the SUNY Oswego Office of Alumni Relations and University Development at 315-312-2258, visit alumni.oswego.edu/scholarships or email [email protected]