Students Create and Fund Scholarships

This spring, the School of Business presented 64 awards to 77 students. Among them were two new awards created and funded by students, a first for the school. The Delta Sigma Pi Open Scholarship honors a student who demonstrates academic excellence and continued leadership in extracurricular activities. The Denis Lukashkov Scholarship for Outstanding Equity Analysis and Financial Modeling memorializes a former classmate. 

Many alumni have created scholarships, most recently, Harold Cramer ‘73, Maria Dempsey ’87, Bob Lazar ‘77, and Michael ’83 and Lori Nash ’83. Faculty have created scholarships. Professor Emeritus Bill Danko created the Golden Rule award in honor of his parents.  Friends of the School of Business, such as First Niagara Bank, have created scholarships. Seeing the generosity of others and perceiving a need, students have followed in their footsteps.

Golf Open Funds Scholarship

The Delta Sigma Pi Open Scholarship, offering $500 to a student who demonstrates academic excellence and continued leadership in extracurricular activities, is funded by the annual Delta Sigma Pi golf outing.

Colin Gerner ’14, ’15 worked with his brother George ’11 to establish the Delta Sigma Pi Open in 2012. According to Colin, “The Open was initially established to serve as a recruiting and networking event with a different atmosphere than most events as it takes place during a round of golf. We broke even the first year, but got a lot of great responses and I decided that we would start to put money aside for a scholarship fund, dependent on success and making a profit.”

In its second year, the event raised more than $1,500, enough to pay for three years of the scholarship, and fund other DSP initiatives. After a successful event in April, the group doubled its profit, adding over $3,000 to the coffers, which will fund 7 years of the scholarship. Gerner, who begins the M.S. tax program at UAlbany this fall, said, “My ultimate goal is after finishing grad school next year to have set up fifteen years of scholarships in my Albany career through the DSP Open.”  

The DSP Open does more than fund a scholarship. The 2014 event attracted 60 golfers, including graduates from the 70's, 80's, 90's, and 00's, who were paired with students in foursomes.  Gerner said, “This was a huge feat and included big four partners, CEOs of other companies, VPs of Wall Street, and many other impressive realms, such as Norm Snyder Jr. '83, the founder of SoBe.”

See the student-created video of the 2014 DSP Open.

Students Fund Scholarship in Memory of Classmate

Denis Lukashkov was a member of the University at Albany School of Business Investment Group and the Financial Analyst Honors program before transferring to Cornell. In September 2013, after starting the fall semester of his junior year, he took his own life. Fellow students Vlad Pantilei ’13 and Ryan Kennedy ’13 wanted to remember their friend.  Each played a role in establishing the Denis Lukashkov Scholarship for Outstanding Equity Analysis and Financial Modeling.

Pantilei, a Banking and Capital Markets Assurance Associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers was close friends with Denis Lukashkov. Pantilei said, “Denis was an essential part of the Investment Group and I was very close with him. His loss was very difficult for me as well as for the other members of the group.”

 The Financial Analyst Honors student wanted to do something to keep the memory of his friend alive, initially considering a personal donation to create a scholarship to celebrate a student with the best financial model and exhibited Lukashkov’s qualities of hard-work and dedication, what Pantilei calls, “the two essential qualities that we promote in the group.”

PantileiI reached out to Ryan Kennedy, now an Investment Banking Analyst for Goldman Sachs, who really liked the idea. The pair started talking to alumni and their fellow students in from UASBIG. Both groups of people responded in a big way. Pantileil noted that that some of the alumni who contributed did not know Denis.  He said, “One of the things that differentiates UASBIG is the sense of comradery, loyalty and dedication to the group."