Cuony Scholarship Supports Aspiring Teachers – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Cuony Scholarship Supports Aspiring Teachers

Hobart and William Smith students from the local community who are in the Colleges’ Teacher Education Program (TEP) have the chance for a $10,000 scholarship opportunity thanks to the generosity of a local fund established in the memory of the late Professor Emeritus of Education Edward Cuony, a beloved Geneva educator and coach, and his wife, Gerry Brennan Cuony ’33, who was also an admired Geneva teacher and mentor.

Provided by the private E.R. Cuony Tribute and Scholarship Fund, the gift to HWS will establish a new $10,000 scholarship – The Ed and Gerry ’33 Cuony Scholarship. HWS students who are eligible to receive the award should be Geneva High School (GHS) graduates or have transferred from Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) to HWS. Candidates for the scholarship should be from Geneva and in their senior year at HWS and enrolled in the TEP. They should also be in good standing with the Colleges and want to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). Recipients will receive another $10,000 scholarship if they enroll in the Colleges’ MAT program.

“Faculty, staff and students of the Education Department are thrilled that the Cuony Scholarship is honoring the profession of teaching,” says Associate Professor and Chair of Education Paul Kehle. “We’re very excited about the opportunity to help complete the loop for local students who are pursuing teaching certification at HWS, and who might return to teach in Geneva schools.”

All HWS students who are eligible will be nominated by the Education Department. The Education Department in conjunction with the Office of Financial Aid will determine the student with the greatest financial need. Strength of a student’s performance will also be taken into consideration.

The HWS TEP is unique in that it particularly focuses on field-based teaching experiences, including teaching in the classroom beginning in a student’s sophomore year. In addition to these field experiences and a robust selection of courses and pedagogical seminars, the TEP is also deeply rooted in the Colleges’ liberal arts philosophy.

The private E.R. Cuony Tribute and Scholarship Fund was established in 2004 to help students from Geneva and DeSales high schools and FLCC pay for college. Officers of the private fund have decided to divide it between FLCC and HWS. The FLCC fund will continue to cover two, $1,000 scholarships per year, one for a student from Geneva and one for a student in the FLCC Honors Program.

“We are grateful to all those who have given to the E.R. Cuony Tribute and Scholarship Fund over the years,” says Brian Bell, secretary of the Fund. “Each scholarship award is a reminder of everything Ed and Gerry did for the community. The time has come to turn the funds over to institutions that can manage them well into the future. We encourage our supporters to continue making gifts directly to the colleges.”

Gifts to the Ed and Gerry Cuony Endowed Scholarships at HWS can be sent to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Director of Parent Relations and Stewardship Kelly Young P’16, 300 Pulteney St., Geneva NY 14456. Gifts to the Ed and Gerry Cuony Endowed Scholarships at FLCC can be sent to the FLCC Foundation, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua, NY 14424.

Born in New York City to French-speaking immigrants from Switzerland, Ed graduated in 1937 from Syracuse University, where he was he started and excelled in football and wrestling, and was later inducted inducted into the SU Letterman of Distinction organization. Following his time at Syracuse, he took a job teaching at GHS. With the start of World War II, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1941. He served the duration of the war, at one point commanding a combat vessel in the South Pacific.

Ed returned to his teaching post in Geneva where he also coached football, track and swimming and started Geneva High’s wrestling program, taking the team to a Section V championship in 1950. Ed was promoted to principal of the high school before leaving in the 1960s to serve as a professor of education at HWS. Throughout a career of academic distinction – he held a doctorate in education – and professional accomplishment, Ed was affectionately known as “Butch” to students, colleagues and friends.

Gerry, a graduate of DeSales High School and William Smith, taught Geneva elementary students for more than 40 years. She served as an adviser and role model to many young women who were members of the popular O.Q. Club, a community service organization.

Ed’s former students established the Ed and Gerry Cuony Scholarships in 2004, delighting the longtime educator by including his beloved wife’s name in the award. He responded to news of the fund by saying, “I am so happy and grateful that the scholarship will bear our names together. Together is always the way we wanted to be remembered.”

Scholarship eligibility reflects attributes the Cuonys’ values, including scholarship, sportsmanship, leadership and citizenship.

Gerry passed away in 2005; Ed died at age 94 in 2010.

For more information about the scholarships, and the late Professor Emeritus of Education Edward Cuony and Gerry Brennan Cuony ’33, visit:

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