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Campus News

IFW Announces New Scholarship Fund to Honor Karen R. Hitchcock

by Greta Petry

Karen R. Hitchcock, community supporter, John Egan, and IFW Chair Kathy Turek at the 2003 IFW fall dinner.
Karen R. Hitchcock, community supporter, John Egan, and IFW Chair Kathy Turek at the 2003 IFW fall dinner.

Initiatives For Women (IFW) has announced plans to raise funds for a new scholarship fund in honor of outgoing president Karen R. Hitchcock. The Karen R. Hitchcock New Frontiers Fund for Initiatives For Women Fund will provide awards to women doctoral students who “show great promise of making a positive, transformational difference in our society.” As a testimony to President Hitchcock’s dedication to education, these grants will enable IFW to “Support Her Dream” for a growing number of women doctoral students.

IFW has always enjoyed a close relationship with the University president, and Hitchcock has been extremely supportive of the program throughout its history. She has personally handed recipients their awards at the annual summer celebration, opened educational events, and played a prominent role in a special “conversation format” with the featured guests at the IFW fall dinners. Recently, Hitchcock was asked about her involvement in IFW:

“I’ve always been a very strong supporter of IFW because it represents such a grassroots effort here on the campus. So many people have been involved from the very beginning… An idea like [IFW] just needs to be supported and nurtured because it does such wonderful things for members of our community.”

For each of the past eight years, Hitchcock has provided funding for the highest level of awards given by IFW, the “Presidential Awards.” Since 2001 these Presidential Awards have been made annually to two promising doctoral students. In 2003 there were 48 applicants for the two very coveted Presidential Awards of $2,500 each. The Karen R. Hitchcock New Frontiers Fund for Initiatives For Women will continue the legacy of the presidential awards by providing significant funding for doctoral women students.

IFW chair Kathy Turek said that IFW plans to raise $150,000 in gifts and pledges by June 29, the date of this year’s IFW Summer Celebration, and aspires to $250,000 by the end of a three-year campaign effort. Campus supporters will be able to make outright gifts, pledges (over three years), or annual fund contributions (payroll deduction). Turek also indicated that University Advancement and the University at Albany Foundation were vital partners in the endeavor. “We could not do this without their support and assistance.”

Turek said, “Women doctoral students are one of the neediest of our applicant groups. Frequently, women at this stage of their education need that extra financial boost to complete their research data collection, cover transcription expenses, or carve out time to finish their dissertation writing. The New Frontiers Fund will provide vital assistance for these women. We hope that people on campus will take advantage of this unique giving opportunity to recognize an extraordinary woman and help our students at the same time.”

Initiatives For Women was founded in 1993 to support the educational and professional goals of women students, faculty, and staff at UAlbany. The program has awarded more than $275,000 for study and research purposes to over 300 University women. If you are interested in supporting the Karen R. Hitchcock New Frontiers Fund for Initiatives For Women, contact Kathy Turek at 437-3916 or turek@albany.edu.