Worthy institutions like Mohawk Valley Community College depend heavily on the generosity of their supporters, alumni and friends.
Last week, MVCC held a ceremony to rename the Information Technology Building at its Utica campus as Francis A. Wilcox Hall in honor of a donor of a $3 million gift. Francis Wilcox was an electrical engineer with General Electric in Utica and Syracuse, and named the MVCC Foundation in his will. He died in 2011. Among those attending were Wilcox’s sister Marilyn Keehle, Kevin Keehle, nephew of Francis A. Wilcox and executor to his estate, and his wife Sue Keehle.
Born in Utica, Wilcox graduated from St. Francis de Sales High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree from Cornell University.
Of his $3 million gift, $2.5 million is allocated for the Wilcox Memorial Endowed Fund, which will support two full-tuition scholarship funds: The Presidential Scholarship and Exceptional Student Scholarship. These are merit-based awards that benefit more than 70 high school graduates each year and are renewable for their four semesters at MVCC.
Of the remaining $500,000, $250,000 will be used to establish the new Francis A. Wilcox Memorial Adult Student Scholarship, which will be endowed, and the rest will be used to create the Wilcox Family Fund, for other college needs.
The MVCC Presidential Scholarship will be renamed the Francis A. Wilcox Memorial Presidential Scholarship. The Francis A. Wilcox Memorial Exceptional Student Scholarship is also full-tuition, but for students who live outside of Oneida County who graduate in the top 10% of their high school class.
Frank B. DuRoss, vice president for community development and executive director of the MVCC Foundation, noted: “This incredible gift from Mr. Wilcox and the Keehle family will free up approximately $140,000 a year that the MVCC Foundation will be able to allocate to helping the college thrive. Additionally, the new Wilcox Memorial Adult Scholarship and Wilcox Family Fund will help more students succeed by offering an affordable, high-quality education.
Many thanks to the numerous donors, like Francis A. Wilcox, who help MVCC grow and expand in the world of education.