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UAlbany Inaugural Scholarship Fund Exceeds $1 Million Goal
$700,000 gift for Honors College student scholarship pushes President's fund to more than $1.5 million two months ahead of schedule

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 11, 2005) -- Today, at the University at Albany's winter commencement ceremony, President Kermit L. Hall announced that the Inaugural Scholarship fund has exceeded its $1 million annual goal two months ahead of schedule. Established in February by President Kermit L. Hall when he took office, the Inaugural Scholarship Fund provides need-based undergraduate student scholarships. The fund was jumpstarted with $100,000 that the campus could have spent on a presidential inauguration. Instead, Hall forewent a formal inauguration and he and his wife, Phyllis, personally pledged $10,000 toward the fund. A $700,000 donation from the estate of Irving Harold Losee helped push the ISF to more than $1.5 million. Other donors include the graduating classes of 2005 and 2006; the University Police Department, which hosted a softball game with proceeds going to support the fund; Chartwells, Barnes and Noble and more than 800 people, corporations and foundations that have helped drive the fund past its initial target in only 10 months.

Currently $1 million has been earmarked for The Honors College at the University at Albany, a university-wide interdisciplinary enterprise for undergraduates focused on faculty-student mentorship, research, citizenship and academic excellence. This includes Losee's donation, which will create the Irving Harold Losee Scholarship Fund to support Honors College students. Losee was a 1938 graduate of the University. Another $500,000 of the fund has been allocated for other need-based student scholarships.

"As you move on in life, prospering from your experiences at UAlbany, rest assured that your alma mater is not resting on its laurels," said Hall at the commencement ceremony. "We are striving to be among the best academic institutions of higher education, adding to the value of the degrees you earn here today. We are grateful to everyone who supported the Inaugural Student Scholarship effort and to Mr. Losee for help to launch through support the Honors College at the University at Albany. I'm also grateful for the leadership of Provost and Executive Vice President Susan Herbst and the University Senate, who brought immediate direction and energy to the task of creating a new college."

"There are few initiatives at the University at Albany that have caught the imagination of students, faculty, alumni and other members of the University community as the Honors College and the Inaugural Scholarship Fund have," said University at Albany Foundation Board President George Hearst III. "The University at Albany Foundation is honored to play a role in helping the University achieve its' educational goals, as well as creating unique opportunities for some exceptional students who require our assistance to move their dreams forward."

"It's greatly encouraging to see UAlbany alumni supporting The Honors College," said Steven F. Messner, Distinguished Teaching Professor and chair of the University Senate. "We have an opportunity with the College to bring together faculty and students in unprecedented ways, giving rise to an institution that the entire University at Albany community, past, present and future, can hold in great esteem."

"As a graduating senior, I take great pride in being a part of UAlbany as The Honors College is introduced," said Brianne Myers, a graduating summa cum laude with degrees in criminal justice and psychology who gave the student address. "Mr. Losee's support is a clear indication to graduates as much as incoming students that our University is committed to excellence in academics, and is furthering the awareness of prospective employers that an education from UAlbany is a sign of hard work, commitment, and success. Mr. Losee's generosity and commitment to UAlbany is truly inspirational."

As the centerpiece of its commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, the University at Albany recently unveiled a new University-wide, interdisciplinary Honors College. The College will ultimately include approximately 500 top-flight undergraduate students who will complete specialized course work, conduct research and work closely with distinguished faculty in a vibrant living-learning community.

Today, the University awarded 406 bachelor's degrees and 449 graduate degrees, including 88 doctoral degrees. Undergraduates hail from 22 different countries, including Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, India, Ireland, China, Columbia and Mexico. The graduate degree candidates represent 27 countries, including Russia, Poland, Pakistan, Jamaica, China and Brazil.

President Kermit L. Hall addressed the graduates and their friends and families, and Myers, a Fredonia native, spoke on the elements of success. Myers intends to pursue graduate work in higher education with a concentration in student affairs in fall 2006.

As a result of a unique and historic collaboration between the Department of Biology and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), UAlbany will award the first graduate degree in biology with a concentration in nanotechnology. Oliver T. Tang will receive the doctorate, which focuses on nanoscale sensor development for biological applications.

School of Social Welfare student Alice King Ingham will receive her doctorate, after dedicating more than twenty years of service as a social work practitioner. During her doctoral studies, King Ingham served the School of Social Welfare as assistant dean for outreach and admissions. She worked with Schuyler and Giffen Elementary Schools to foster parent-led Parent Resource Centers, and her work has become a centerpiece of the Family Support Network of the Capital Region (now led by United Way). She is on the faculty of Radford College in their School of Social Work.

2005 President's Award for Leadership winners:

Lawrence Migliore is an economics major from Hastings. He is a past Student Association president, a resident assistant, an orientation assistant; and vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. Migliore will be a flag bearer in the graduation ceremony.

Jorge Vasquez, Jr. graduates with a degree in Africana studies. The New York City native has served as president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and also as a Student Association senator and as a resident assistant. Vasquez helped organize a variety of community service events including the annual Halloween Haunted House for children, a Black Solidarity Day march and vigil; and programs on HIV/AIDS awareness. He is also a recipient of a 2005 President's Award for Leadership.

Kasandra Cliff is a human biology major and presidential scholar from Hamlin. She has volunteered for the Five Quad Volunteer Ambulance Service and chaired the Five Quad board of directors. Cliff has also served as a patient care associate at Albany Medical Center, and holds memberships in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Delta Epsilon co-ed medical fraternity.

For more information about UAlbany's December commencement, visit or e-mail

For more information on Oliver Tang, the first doctoral candidate awarded a degree in biology with a concentration in nanotechnology visit CNSE.


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages more than 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

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