A Million Dollar Commitment 

Henry and Patricia Binzer have long been supporters of the School of Social Welfare and the University at Albany.  

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 15, 2018) – They wanted to do something exciting and innovative with their money, something that would help the School of Social Welfare (SSW) and impact the field of social work for generations to come.

Patricia Binzer, Ed.D. ’74 and her husband Henry J. Binzer, ’60, M.S. ’61, ’73 have made an estate commitment of $1 million to The University at Albany Foundation. The funds will be used to establish the first doctoral-level fellowship at the SSW, The Binzer Family Doctoral Fellowship.

Distributions will provide support for one or more Ph.D. students enrolled in the School of Social Welfare who will be selected for academic merit and excellence.

“Pat and I don’t have a big family to leave things to,” said Henry “Hank” Binzer. “We wanted to make an impact with all that we have acquired throughout our lives. We wanted to make a difference in the world, and saw the future of that in educating our young doctoral students to go out in the world.”

“We are excited about this generous commitment from the Binzers. It will help secure the long-term future of our highly respected doctoral program,” said School of Social Welfare Dean Lynn Warner.

The Binzers have long been a presence at SSW events and supporters of the University. As the daughter of a social worker, it seemed natural for Patricia to be drawn to the School of Social Welfare. In 2016, the couple established The Henry and Patricia Binzer Internships in Aging Scholarship.

Patricia will never forget the compassion UAlbany School of Social Welfare interns, as part of the Internships in Aging Program, showed to her brother a few years ago while he was living at a local nursing home.

“I got to see first hand the benefits of these internships. Their attention and respect for his dignity made such a difference in his day-to-day life,” she said.

The Binzers’ new commitment will help the school attract, enroll and retain the most promising Ph.D. students.

The new Binzer Family Doctoral Fellowship will have a broad scope. In addition to the area of aging, potential fellows will be in the fields of children and families, diversity and minority health disparities, addictions and/or mental health.

“The Binzer Doctoral Fellowship will help those dedicated to the social welfare of others solve the biggest issues facing society through dedicated research, practice development and teaching,” said Vice President for Advancement Fardin Sanai. “This commitment will enable Binzer Fellows to join the next generation of leaders and innovators.”

With this new commitment, said Henry Binzer, “We don’t really want to pay the light bill. We want to dedicate it to someone who will make a difference.”

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