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Alumni Gift Benefits SUNY Plattsburgh Students from Same Hometown

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Aug. 23, 2010)– A SUNY Plattsburgh freshman is the latest recipient of a scholarship created by alumni who graduated from her hometown high school 24 years earlier.Anna Rogoza, an education major from Granville, N.Y., is among those receiving the Paula and Michael Freed Scholarship, which benefits Granville Central Junior/Senior High School graduates who attend SUNY Plattsburgh.

Anna RogozaRogoza said that the $2,000 gift “made a huge difference” in paying for her education.

“I didn’t know that someone would be so kind as to create a program specifically for Granville graduates,” she said. “I was really surprised.”

The scholarship – part of a $50,000 gift to the Plattsburgh College Foundation from Michael Freed ‘79 and wife Paula ’80 – awards a total of $10,000 annually to Granville alumni who demonstrate both financial need and academic merit. Other recipients include Cody Wheeler, a senior nursing major; Lindsay Lyons, a senior sociology major; Hope Monroe, a senior psychology major; James Park, a junior information technology major; Amanda Perry, a junior psychology major; and Samuel Rathbun, a junior history major.

Even though he and his wife now live in Grand Rapids, Mich., Michael Freed said that “it’s still our hometown, and the college is still ours.”

“Particularly given the economy, we just felt that this was the best way we could continue to reinvest in our hometown and at the same time, help to make education affordable at a school that we believe in,” said Michael, now the chief financial officer of Spectrum Health.  He earned his accounting degree – and Paula earned her nursing degree – at SUNY Plattsburgh after graduating from Granville Central Junior/Senior High School in 1976.

Other objectives of the scholarship, Michael said, include prompting other SUNY Plattsburgh graduates from Granville to consider doing the same thing, as well as reminding the young recipients that they’ll be expected to give back someday as well.

And giving back is exactly something that Rogoza intends to do as an educator.

“Now that I am on this path, I’m really determined to make something out of it and myself,” she said.

“If I had the chance, I would try to change the world for everybody.”

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