University at Albany
Dr. Peter Brusoe accepts the Young Alumnus in Political Science Award at Rockefeller College's 2013 Alumni Awards Dinner at the New York State Museum in Albany, May 17, 2013

Why I Give

Dr. Peter W. Brusoe, BA '03, MA '04
Campaign Finance and Lobbying Data Analyst
Bloomberg, LP

What motivated you to make a gift to Rockefeller College?

There were two reasons. The first was a desire to honor my parents, Mary and Peter J. Brusoe  (MS '90; CAS '05). My siblings and I were extremely lucky to have had such dedicated and loving parents. They served as homeroom parents and PTA officers, helped us to understand quadratic equations, were there for our soccer and lacrosse games, made gingerbread houses for classes — you name it, they were there, loving, helping and encouraging us. They instilled in us values, like serving others, always trying our best, and doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. I would not be where I am today without them. I wanted to find a way to be able to do for others what my parents had done for me.

The second reason I support the College is that it's a way to help others have the same great experience I had as a student. I would not be working in Washington, D.C. today if it weren't for Rockefeller's Semester in Washington Program. We jokingly call it "Potomac Fever" and I wound up with a really bad case of it after having gone through the program. Every year at the alumni-student intern reception in D.C., I would be amazed by the academic credentials, work ethic and passion to change the world that the Semester in Washington students had. I wanted to be able to support their work. I had a great conversation with Justin Hogan in the UAlbany Development Office and was pleased to be able to accomplish both things by creating the Washington Semester Fund.

How do you hope your gift will benefit students?

(From left) Dr. Michael Malbin; Dr. Peter Brusoe,
BA '03, MA '04 ; Assemblywoman Addie Russell,
BA '00; and Dean David Rousseau of Rockefeller
College at the New York State Museum for
Rockefeller's 2013 Alumni Awards Dinner
Every student at UAlbany who is academically qualified should have the opportunity to live, learn and serve in Washington, D.C.  The financial situation for students has gotten very tenuous with the sizeable increases in student loan rates, as well as sizeable decreases in public support for higher education. I hope that my gift will enable students who may not otherwise be able to afford the program to be able to have that great experience.

There are so many things that make the Washington Semester an amazing experience. Dr. Michael Malbin, who runs the program, arranges for world renowned speakers to come talk to the students. And the internships are substantive. During my internship experience I was able to work with policymakers in Housing & Urban Development to help increase the capacity of organizations serving the homeless. Other interns have gone on to work on briefs for the Solicitor General's office, plan an event for the Department of Commerce, act as lead on an issue in a congressional office, or work with a nonprofit to fight for equal rights. So many of my classmates and other program alumni have reported experiencing such a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the program.

How does giving back to the College make you feel?

Rockefeller College has given me so much — a great academic experience, skills that I use in my professional life, the start to my professional network, and world class experiences. I feel a strong sense of obligation to give back to a place that has given so much to me. When I give back I feel happy and when I meet the students that our donors are helping I feel a strong sense of joy that I have perhaps helped them as others have helped me.

Peter established the Mary and Peter J. Brusoe Washington Semester Fund to provide support for University at Albany students participating in Rockefeller College's Washington Semester Program.  To read more Rockefeller College student and alumni stories and learn how you can support the College, please CLICK HERE

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