ABC scholarship a boon for local students

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When Gabriella Levine '14 was considering where to attend college, there was little doubt she would choose a place close to her home in Albany.

Emily Reilly

Emily Reilly, director of human resources at GlobalFoundries, keynote speaker of annual kick-off breakfast.

With dreams of becoming a lawyer, Levine resisted the urge to follow some of her peers and "head down to the big city." Instead, she found Union a perfect fit as part of the journey toward realizing her dream. And when she graduates, she intends to stick around the area.

"There is a generalized misconception when it comes to studying and working in the Capital Region," Levine told a crowd of close to 100 at Union's Annual Business Campaign (ABC) kickoff breakfast Thursday at College Park Hall.

"In many circumstances, local students seek to take their education and their careers elsewhere because they believe that this region does not offer the opportunities that others can. I am a living testament to the fact that you can be fortunate enough to experience countless opportunities if you choose to receive an education here."

The ABC breakfast is a thank you to the supporters of the College's scholarship fund. Since 1993, hundreds of local businesses have contributed to the fund, which provides scholarships to students from Albany, Columbia, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schoharie and Schenectady counties. ABC’s chairman is Richard Fuerst '96 of Higgins, Roberts, Beyerl & Coan.

Levine, a William and Estelle Golub ABC Presidential Scholar, is one of more than a dozen students receiving help this year through the fund.

A member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, Levine is editor of the Concordiensis, the student newspaper, and campus leader for "Democracy Matters," a non-partisan student group that advocates for campaign finance reform. Her experience helped her get an article published in the New York Times last spring (along with her co-editor, Tess Koman '13) on the success of the men's hockey team, and to meet President Obama when he visited the region.

None of that would have been possible without the ABC Scholarship Fund, Levine said.

"We both believe in the power and prospects of the local community, and your extraordinary generosity is the reason I am standing here today," she told the guests, which included business leaders and state and local elected officials. "You believed in me and in the local community, and you gave me the chance of a lifetime to attend such an incredible college."

The keynote speaker was Emily Reilly, director of human resources at GlobalFoundries, a computer chip plant in nearby Malta. Reilly discussed the company's role in the revitalization of upstate New York’s “Tech Valley." She cited the strong applicant pool that local colleges, including Union, are providing for the company.

To read more about her talk in The Business Review, click here.