Enduring Gifts 

Rockefeller College Receives $3.5 Million to Fund Graduate Study 

Milne Hall on the University's Downtown Campus opened in 1929, expanding what was then the New York State College for Teachers. Milne is now home to the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy. (Photo by Patrick Dodson) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 11, 2018) — Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy has received two seven-figure gifts totaling almost $3.5 million to attract and support outstanding graduate students.

A $1.35 million estate gift from Ricardo Gonzalez ’75 MPA ’77 and his wife Evelyn will create a scholarship for graduate students who represent the next generation of leaders in the federal government. The Gonzalezes’ gift recognizes the significant impact that Professors Harold W. Adams, Abdo I. Baaklini and Richard I. Nuñez made on Rockefeller College students, as well as the experience that Ricardo and Evelyn enjoyed as federal employees serving domestically and internationally.

“All three professors always took time for students,” Ricardo Gonzalez said, adding that Baaklini taught his students to view issues from an international perspective, Adams taught them to think critically and Nuñez taught his students that “whatever you do in government is based on laws and regulations, not personal opinions, not political beliefs.”

The foundation that Gonzalez received at Rockefeller College served him well in his 36 years of federal service — in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the General Accounting Office and the U.S. Army. “I had a great career,” he said. “Whoever thought a kid from the South Bronx would go this far?”

Gonzalez said he and Evelyn, whose career focused on personnel, visit UAlbany periodically to talk to Rockefeller College students about work in government agencies. With no children of their own, they decided to create the Ricardo S. Gonzalez and Evelyn Gonzalez Family Scholarship to support economically disadvantaged students interested in working in the federal government after graduation.

In addition, an alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous has documented a $2.1 million bequest to the college. The gift will ultimately support students pursuing graduate study in political science and public administration.

“These gifts will be transformational for Rockefeller College, allowing us to attract the best and brightest students and faculty,” said Dean R. Karl Rethemeyer. “Because they support and strengthen Rockefeller’s endowment, the impact of the donors’ generosity will be long and lasting.”

In 2018, Rockefeller College received a top 25 ranking once again in U.S. News & World Report’s survey of graduate schools in public affairs — a distinction the school has enjoyed for decades. The college prides itself on preparing dynamic leaders who will shape the formulation and administration of public policies of the future.

“These are wonderfully generous and valuable gifts,” said Vice President for Advancement Fardin Sanai. “The fellowships they endow will sustain Rockefeller College’s excellence and its importance as a training ground for the public policy leaders of tomorrow.”


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