The Fund for Geneseo fills in the gaps for providing scholarships, research, and more.
By Keith Walters ’11
In Professor Kazushige Yokoyama’s chemistry class, student researchers are investigating spike proteins similar to those found in COVID-19. Their findings could ultimately provide knowledge necessary to develop better treatments for the disease.
This research was made possible in part by donors who contributed to The Fund for Geneseo and ultimately helped Yokoyama and his students obtain a National Science Foundation grant to continue their research through 2023.
“Donor funding allowed us to try new projects and maintain academic productivity,” says Yokoyama. “Funding during the pandemic enabled us to move forward and led to the preparation of data that played a key role in receiving the National Science Foundation grant.”
Geneseo prides itself on providing exceptional opportunities for students to participate in such hands-on research through The Fund for Geneseo. The Fund is a flexible pool of money that the College uses to address needs in priority areas, such as providing scholarships, supporting student-faculty research opportunities, and providing co-curricular experiences that help students grow personally and professionally.
Over the years, Fund priorities have evolved with student and college needs. Recently, the College has experienced a greater need for student scholarships to promote access to attending Geneseo and participating in integrative and applied learning opportunities while they are here. The honors college experience is essential to Geneseo’s recently launched fundraising campaign, Opportunities Rising: Geneseo for Generations, and the college’s five-year strategic plan.
“I strongly believe in Geneseo as a place to get an education,” says Tim Gorman ’94, who has supported The Fund for Geneseo for nearly three decades. “I just can’t even believe the experience I had there was wonderful—something beyond what I expected from a college. Rising costs puts college out of reach for many people, but places like Geneseo are still attainable. I feel strongly about helping others have that same experience.”
In 2022-23, The Fund for Geneseo was used to fund $645,000 in scholarships to support both newly enrolled and returning students.
The Fund for Geneseo provided more than $250,000 in student and faculty research awards last year, which was used for conference attendance and presentations, small research grants, undergraduate summer fellowships, and research assistantships.
And for the first time, The Fund for Geneseo allocated $60,000 to the Office of Diversity and Equity to support the Multicultural Center, the annual Diversity Summit, and campus-wide training to enhance racial and cultural awareness.
“We would otherwise not be able to launch an enhanced vision for the Multicultural Center,” says robbie routenberg ’05, chief diversity officer. “The Fund’s support allows us to put our energies toward creating an impact instead of spending time and effort trying to find funding.”
That ability to create impact is why Rich ’08 and Rachel Laber Pulvino ’10 have supported the College since graduation. They are grateful for their education and say Geneseo leaders know what programs and initiatives can benefit most.
“We only know so much as alumni, but the people who work at Geneseo day in and day out know what’s most important,” says Rich Pulvino. “We’re happy to trust them to use the funds as they best see fit.”
Every contribution to The Fund for Geneseo is an investment in the college’s ability to adapt to needs as they arise. Cheryl Flint ’75 has supported The Fund for nearly half a century because she credits the College for her successful career in teaching.
“I give back because of the education I received,” says Flint. “If it weren’t for Geneseo, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I give to The Fund for Geneseo because I don’t know the needs of the College right now, but if you have an emergency or need to fill a position, use it. As long as my support furthers someone’s education, that’s all that matters.”