Following a recent $1 million gift to establish the Bozzuto Family First-Generation Endowed Scholarship, HWS Board Chair Thomas S. Bozzuto ’68 returns to campus as the inaugural First-Generation Initiative (FGI) alumni speaker.
With his brothers, Bozzuto was part of the first generation of his family to attend college and today serves as chairman of the Bozzuto Group, one of the most prominent real estate services companies in the country, which Bozzuto cofounded. On Thursday, Feb. 8, he will participate in a discussion-style forum in the Seneca Room, 603 S. Main Street, from 8 to 9 p.m.
“The FGI is honored to have Mr. Bozzuto as our featured alum speaker for the 2017-18 academic year,” says Christine de Denus, department chair and associate professor of chemistry, who directs the FGI. “He is an accomplished businessman and a wonderful example of an alum who has stayed engaged with the HWS community for five decades. His recent gift to the Colleges to create the Bozzuto Family First-Generation Endowed Scholarship is a testament to his commitment to access and education for students who are the first in their families to attend a four-year college. We are excited to have Mr. Bozzuto back to HWS to share his experiences as a first-generation college student with our community.”
In 2017, Bozzuto and his family made a $4 million donation to the Colleges, one quarter of which is designated to create the first-generation scholarship.
“The scholarship is intended to ensure that financial stress will not compound the challenges first-generation students face,” 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.”
FGI is an HWS initiative that was spearheaded by William Smith Dean Lisa Kaenzig in 2006. The initiative seeks to help first-generation students maximize their academic experience by ensuring that students have academic, social and co-curricular guidance; have visibility as a group on campus; graduate; and take advantage of the resources and opportunities that HWS offers, both during and after their undergraduate years.
In November 2016, the initiative received a grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation to sustain and expand its programming.
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.
Kelly Craig ’16 served as the inaugural First-Gen Initiative alumnae speaker in 2017. Craig works at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, a Las Vegas-based company that works with students of all ages to develop sensory cognitive processing skills that help with communication.