B;ack and Latino Photo

Black and Latino Alumni Network Establishes Endowed Scholarship

Dawn Cotter-Jenkins ’91 remembers a scholarship she received as a Stony Brook undergraduate student. It only covered the costs of her books, but it was a huge help.

“It was one less thing to think about, which was a life-saver,” she says.

As a successful professional, Cotter-Jenkins is among several alums who keenly remember the challenges of funding their college education and have donated to establish the Stony Brook University Black and Latino Alumni Network Scholarship Fund.

Cotter-Jenkins and her fellow Black and Latino Alumni Network Leaders know know that paying for school is not easy: their inspiration for the new endowed scholarship comes from personal experience. They created the scholarship to help give other students a hand — and to promote the University’s goal of a diverse student body.

“Like other great universities, Stony Brook is fortunate to have a dedicated, engaged alumni community, but this is the first scholarship funded by one of our alumni chapters, which makes it extra special” says Senior Vice President of Advancement Dexter Bailey. He and his wife Angela Bailey also contributed to to the fund.

“The Black and Latino Alumni Network Scholarship will have a lasting impact on future generations of deserving students — and also help Stony Brook compete for the best minds regardless of a student’s socioeconomic background.”

The new endowment — currently totaling more than $40,000 with the goal of reaching $100,000 — will allow the Network to name its first scholarship recipient in Fall 2016.

Scholarship candidates must be full-time students who demonstrate financial need, along with commitment to civic engagement and social responsibility. Preference will be given to incoming freshmen with high academic achievement. Ideal candidates should have a minimum 3.5 high school grade point average and must maintain a minimum 3.0 in order to retain the scholarship.

Black and Latino Alumni Network leaders have donated to other scholarships and fundraisers in the past, but say this scholarship is different.. “This is something that is ‘by us, for us’ as far as strengthening the Stony Brook community,” says Network board member Morgan A. Cato ’04, ’05, who also serves on the Alumni Association board. “We want to make paying for college as easy as possible and give as much support as we can to a community that may have trouble finding funding for school.”

Alumni donors for this scholarship include, in alphabetical order, Lennie J. Carter ’03, ’04; Morgan A. Cato ’04, ’05; Thierry S. Cazeau ’91, ’94; Errol A. Cockfield ’94; Dawn Cotter-Jenkins ’91 and her husband Patrick Jenkins ’90; Guy-Max Delphin ’97; J.R. Dorsainvil ’02; Alphonzo Grant ’92, ’93; Deneise Jennings-Houston ’79; Tracy M. King-Sanchez ’92, ’94, ’12 and her husband David E. Sanchez ’92; Carla La Chapelle ’98; Nancy M. Maignan ’85; Stephan R. Roker ’88; and Bedel Saget ’88. SBF Management Group, LLC and Suffolk Pediatric Center donated as well.

“The Alumni Association’s board shares a deep appreciation to the Black and Latino Alumni Network for their generosity — and for setting an example for other chapters by establishing this scholarship to support our under-represented undergraduate students,” says Alumni Association President Robert Stafford ’72, ’82. “It is this kind of dedication from alumni that makes me proud to be President.”

Cato agrees that it’s uplifting to work together to make a difference: “I’m a student loan kid. If I can make it easier for kids like myself, I would love to help. We want to make funding college easier for students to complete their education and succeed.”

Featured Image Caption: Black and Latino Alumni Network members on October 17, 2015. 

— Andrew Kahn

View original story on Stony Brook News.