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MVCC renames building in honor of donor whose gift benefits scholarships

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

UTICA, N.Y. — Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) has renamed the information-technology building at its Utica campus in honor of a donor.

The building is named Francis A. Wilcox Hall in honor of the late electrical engineer and U.S. veteran. Wilcox had named the MVCC Foundation in his will with a $3 million donation when he died in 2011, MVCC said in a news release.

Of that figure, $2,500,000 is allocated for the Wilcox Memorial Endowed Fund, which will support two full-tuition scholarship funds: the Presidential Scholarship and Exceptional Student Scholarship. Both are merit-based awards that benefit more than 70 high school graduates each year and are renewable for their four semesters at MVCC.

Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) on Tuesday hosted a ceremony to rename the information-technology building on the Utica campus. The school has renamed it in honor of Francis A. Wilcox, an electrical engineer and U.S. veteran who named the MVCC Foundation in his will with a $3 million donation. Pictured here (from left to right) are Frank DuRoss, vice president for community development and executive director of the MVCC Foundation; Kevin Keehle, nephew of Francis A. Wilcox and executor to his estate; Marilyn Keehle, sister of Wilcox; Sue Keehle, wife of Kevin Keehle; and Randall VanWagoner, MVCC president. (Photo provided by Mohawk Valley Community College)

Of the remaining $500,000, the school will use $250,000 to establish the new Francis A. Wilcox Memorial Adult Student Scholarship, which will be endowed. MVCC will use the remaining funding to create the Wilcox Family Fund, to target MVCC’s areas of “greatest need to help the College maintain its dynamism and impact in the face of swiftly evolving societal, technological, and academic needs,” per the news release.

“For more than 25 years, MVCC has offered free tuition to the top 10 percent of students from Oneida County high schools and the surrounding region in an effort to keep the best and brightest in our community,” Frank DuRoss, vice president for community development and executive director of the MVCC Foundation, said in the school’s news release. “This incredible gift from Mr. Wilcox and the Keehle family will free up approximately $140,000 a year that the MVCC Foundation will be able to allocate to helping the college thrive. Additionally, the new Wilcox Memorial Adult Scholarship and Wilcox Family Fund will help more students succeed by offering an affordable, high-quality education.”

“This is a truly transformational gift that will change the lives of so many students, and the fact the gift adds to our endowment assures the impact will endure into the future,” MVCC President Randall VanWagoner added in the news release.

 

About the scholarships

With the Wilcox donation, the MVCC Presidential Scholarship now becomes the Francis A. Wilcox Memorial Presidential Scholarship. MVCC awards this full-tuition scholarship (less financial aid) to students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class in an Oneida County high school. Students must be enrolled full-time, taking a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester, and maintain a minimum B grade-point average (GPA) at 3.0 for each semester in attendance.

The endowment of this scholarship will free up funding for the MVCC Foundation, enabling it to help other students in need at the school.

The Francis A. Wilcox Memorial Exceptional Student Scholarship is also full-tuition, but for students who live outside of Oneida County who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class. The school has a “limited” number of scholarships, and the MVCC scholarship committee selects the awardees. Students must be full-time, taking a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester, and maintain a GPA of 3.0 for each semester in attendance.

The Francis A. Wilcox Memorial Adult Student Scholarship will “help to create more opportunities” for students age 25 and older who live in New York, show financial need, and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. The amount will vary, but a student can use it for tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. The student may reapply annually as long as they are attending full- or part-time, and enrolled in a degree, certificate, or micro-credential program.

 

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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