UB and BlueCross BlueShield Sign Four-Year Agreement to Support Student Scholarships

By Cynthia Machamer

Release Date: October 9, 2008 This content is archived.


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From left: UB President John B. Simpson with first three recipients of BPS scholarship, Adrian Guadalupe, Terrence McKenzie and Lesthia Isaacs, and Ellen Grant of BCBS.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has entered a four-year partnership with the University at Buffalo to create an endowed fund that will provide need-based scholarship support to an incoming freshman undergraduate student from the Buffalo Public Schools. In addition, BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) will serve as a presenting sponsor of the UB Scholarship Gala, an annual event that raises money for student financial aid.

"BlueCross BlueShield is proud to partner with the University at Buffalo to help the best and brightest students achieve a UB education," said Alphonso O'Neil-White, president and chief executive officer of BCBS. "We believe an investment in student financial aid is an investment in the future of Western New York. UB offers an outstanding education and our goal is to enable more local students to take advantage of the academic opportunities that exist right here at home. Armed with a college degree, these students will be better prepared to build successful careers and lives in Western New York, adding to the health and well-being of our community."

"Scholarship support opens new horizons for our students," said John B. Simpson, president of UB, "creating intellectual challenges, cultural awareness and educational experiences that are life-changing. The gala plays an instrumental role in raising awareness of the very significant need to create educational opportunity through student scholarships and to increase the resources available to them. We thank BCBS for its commitment to student scholarships."

Now in its third year, the UB Scholarship Gala 2008 raised $200,000 in student support. More than 425 business executives, UB faculty and administrators and community leaders attended the event held Oct. 4 in Alumni Arena's Triple Gym on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

The money raised from the gala goes for student scholarships across campus; some is distributed each year and some goes into an endowment fund to ensure money for future generations. In 2007, UB also raised money specifically to help Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) students attend UB. The university matched that amount, putting its share into the endowment fund. The rest was awarded to three BPS students who enrolled in UB this past fall. The scholarships pay their tuition and fees for four years, in addition to providing money annually for books and supplies; each student also received a new computer. In return, the BPS scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average throughout their four years at UB. They also are expected to participate in community service activities and leadership training.

For continued success as one of the nation's top research universities, UB has implemented an innovative master plan, UB 2020, to increase its size and stature while also forging a university-wide vision, powered by an interdisciplinary research initiative in eight scholarly areas in which UB has an ongoing tradition of excellence. To achieve this, UB seeks to attract the best and brightest students and faculty. Scholarships are one of the most effective ways to guarantee that the top students choose to attend UB.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is a division of HealthNow New York, one of New York's leading health care companies that provide quality health care and innovative solutions for members in Upstate New York. BlueCross BlueShield's managed care products have an Excellent Accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). In 2007, company revenues grew to nearly $2.14 billion.