Utica College dedicates new Wilcox Center; announces scholarship

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UTICA — Laura Casamento, president of Utica College, announced today the largest endowed scholarship in Utica College history, made possible with a founding gift of $2 million from the estate of Francis A. Wilcox.

The Francis A. Wilcox Fellowships will provide scholarships of $5,000 annually for 20 students: 10 traditional undergraduate students matriculating directly from high school, six returning or resuming undergraduate studies, and four graduate students. After one year of vesting, the scholarships will be administered by the Office of Financial Aid.

The announcement was made at the formal dedication of the Francis A. Wilcox Intercultural and Student Organization Center. The Wilcox Center has been completely renovated to offer students space for gathering, meeting, studying or just relaxing. 

The 3,500-square foot building, formerly the Newman Community Center, features a great room with a fireplace and large flat-screen TV, speakers, a full kitchen, and to top it off, an outdoor patio where students can convene around the ambience of an outdoor gas fireplace. There are a number of individual meeting/study rooms as well.

The building will also be home to the Women’s Resource Center, a student organization dedicated to the empowerment of women through education, mutual support and growth. In addition, the building will serve as home base for two members of the College’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) division. 

The $900,000 renovation was also funded by the Wilcox estate. Assisting President Casamento with the ribbon cutting were members of Mr. Wilcox’s family: his brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Mary; his sister Marilyn Keehle, and his nephew, Kevin Keehle, and his wife, Susan, who is an alumna of Utica College, class of 2007.

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