With a $4 million gift, Chair of the Board of Trustees Thomas S. ’68 and Barbara M. Bozzuto and their family seek to sustain the future of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and their legacy of academic innovation while also expanding access for first generation students.
Three million dollars of the total gift will endow the Bozzuto Center for Entrepreneurship, providing critical programming and operational support for the Colleges’ most popular minor and fastest growing program of study.
“In the 21st century, success will come to people who know how to reinvent themselves throughout their careers,” says Bozzuto, chairman and cofounder of the Bozzuto Group, one of the most prominent real estate services companies in the country. “What the liberal arts teaches you to do, and what entrepreneurial studies reinforces, is the ability to think critically, to think independently and to be willing to take risks, both intellectually and practically.”
The remaining $1 million will create the Bozzuto Family First-Generation Endowed Scholarship.
“Neither of my parents went to college, and when I got to Hobart, I was totally unprepared academically. It was only because of support from some of my classmates, the faculty and a couple members of the administration that I persisted,” says Bozzuto. “Young people from working class backgrounds deserve an opportunity in higher education and add to the community in a way that can’t be ignored and that benefits everybody. The scholarship is intended to ensure that financial stress will not compound the challenges first-generation students face.”
“Throughout his tenure on the Board of Trustees, and now as Chair, Tom has been a leading supporter for the innovative and rigorous academics we offer at Hobart and William Smith,” says President Gregory J. Vincent ’83. “Likewise, Tom, Barbara and their family recognize the importance of making such an education accessible to talented students of all backgrounds, and with these gifts, they are cementing the Colleges’ commitment to these critical areas in perpetuity. We are immensely grateful.”
Founded in 2015, the Entrepreneurial Studies Program at HWS emphasizes the conceptual understanding, practical skills and ethical structure necessary for business or civic leadership. Students explore and hone the analytical and critical thinking skills of a liberal arts education while pursuing projects and coursework focused on creating non-profit or for-profit enterprises, or leading innovation within existing organizations.
This fall, the Colleges established new classrooms, discussion spaces, workspaces and meeting spaces for entrepreneurial studies at a downtown Geneva facility — now named the Bozzuto Center for Entrepreneurship — which occupies three floors and more than 7,000 square feet on Castle Street. The Center will also support related academic and co-curricular programming like the Centennial Center’s Idea Lab, Innovation Academy and Pitch competition, and house office space for the Colleges’ Margiloff Family Entrepreneurial Fellow, who helps develop academic programming and collaborates across campus and with external stakeholders and entrepreneurs.
During Bozzuto’s more than 45-year career in real estate, he has overseen and been responsible for the creation of more than 50,000 homes and apartments. He has directed the development, construction and management of income-producing and for-sale housing in metropolitan areas along the East Coast. The recipient of the Freddie Mac Builder of the Year award, Bozzuto has also served as a Congressional appointee to the Millennial Housing Commission, a gubernatorial appointee to the Maryland Housing Commission and has chaired the board of the National Multifamily Housing Council.