Geneva resident Mary Kelleher loved the children of Grove Street, where she spent most of her life, and she could often be found baking cookies for the crowds of kids. Although Kelleher passed away in 1993, her legacy to Geneva children has lived on. Through a recent gift from her estate, Kelleher gave more than $100,000 to Geneva Scholarship Associates (GSA), a gift that will benefit the children of Geneva for whom she cared so deeply.
“This is a very generous gift – one we are excited to put to good use,” says Casey Peterson, director of development at Hobart and William Smith. “Mrs. Kelleher’s lifelong devotion to children will now have a permanent legacy through Geneva Scholarship Associates. Her generosity will allow us to make a lasting difference in the lives of Geneva students.”
GSA, started by members of the Geneva community, makes it possible for Geneva’s best students to attend Hobart and William Smith Colleges. GSA scholarships are awarded to financially deserving and academically-minded incoming first year students from the greater Geneva area. The students receive the GSA award each year for the four years they attend Hobart and William Smith. Over the past 40 years, generous businesses and individuals have built GSA’s endowment to more than $1 million providing approximately $50,000 in annual scholarship support.
“What began in 1968 with a small group of community members has provided assistance to nearly 200 students to date,” explained President Mark D. Gearan in May 2010 at the celebration of the year’s scholarship recipients. “As colleges and universities struggle with the daunting task of balancing budgets, providing scholarship and financial aid to deserving students from diminished endowments, we recognize that the partnership between the Geneva community and the Colleges is a remarkable and valuable one. We are truly grateful to all of you who continue to make the education of Geneva’s talented youth a charitable priority each year.”