The Geneva Scholarship Associates, a fund that supports academically and financially deserving students from Geneva or DeSales High Schools to attend Hobart and William Smith, now exceeds $1 million thanks to a record contribution to the fund from Hobart and William Smith Colleges Trustee Stuart S. Piltch ’82, P’11 and his wife Sari Feldman P’11.
Their gift will create two endowed scholarships in honor of the late Robert Freeman, director of financial aid who served HWS from 1973-1999, and June W. Kuryla P’75, P’78, P’84, GP ’04, GP ’08, former administrative assistant in the Colleges’ Department of Financial Aid.
“As a student at Hobart, I would go over to the financial aid office every day,” says Piltch. “Bob, June and I would have amazing conversations about politics, religion and current events. They saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself. They became my family.”
“This gift marks an important milestone in the life of the Hobart and William Smith and Geneva community,” says President Mark D. Gearan. “Stuart reached back over the arc of his life to honor two Geneva residents who meant so much to him. In return, Stuart and Sari’s gift, which doubles the GSA endowment, will change the lives of Geneva students for generations to come.”
Piltch is the managing director and co-founder of Cambridge Advisory Group, an actuarial and benefits consulting firm based in Philadelphia whose clients include Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, US Airways, and the US Department of Labor. He has served on the Board of Trustees since June 2007. Stuart’s two brothers, Neal ’78 and Stan ’85, and sister Deborah ’83 also attended the Colleges.
“Our family depended on financial aid to attend college so it was a natural decision to support the work of GSA,” says Piltch. “This is a gift from the heart. Nearly 30 years after graduation I keep returning to campus and see that the Colleges’ dedication to its community – the soul of this place – remains intact.”
“We are absolutely thrilled,” says Bill McGowan, an attorney and president of the GSA board of directors. “Geneva students can get a world class education at HWS, one that can take them anywhere in the world.”
The announcement was made at a recent dinner with the HWS Board of Trustees and members of the Geneva community who have been involved in the on-going work of the Geneva Partnership.
Created in 1968 by Geneva Community members, GSA is an annual, community-wide campaign to support students from Geneva who plan to attend Hobart and William Smith Colleges. To date, GSA has helped more than 150 Geneva students attend the Colleges. The Freeman and Kuryla Scholarships will add to the number of GSA scholarships offered.
A story about Piltch’s gift was featured in the Wednesday, Feb. 20 edition of the Finger Lakes Times; read Scholarship group gets $500K donation.