Communications Office: Stephen Mease
The Champlain College Single Parents Program is the recipient of a $100,000 challenge grant from Donna and Remo Pizzagalli of Charlotte. The Pizzagalli's gift was announced at the annual Champlain College Women Supporting Education for Women benefit in Shelburne.
According to Shelley Richardson, vice president of Advancement at Champlain, Donna and Remo Pizzagalli chose to honor their dear family friend and former Champlain College employee Patricia Conant, who passed away from cancer in February, by matching all contributions to the Single Parents Program this year dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. Their gift also establishes a permanent endowed fund in Conant's honor to support the Single Parents Program in perpetuity.
(Shown in photo, from left, Nancy Conant Arnell, Donna Pizzagalli, Gina Pizzagalli and John Conant)
"We are honored to be able to establish this scholarship in memory of Pat, an incredible woman who gave of herself to all she came in touch with, especially her students," said Donna Pizzagalli.
To make a gift in support of this challenge, please contact Moneer N. Greenbaum, Leadership Giving Director at 865-5426 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since it began in 1987, the Champlain College Single Parents Program has graduated 580 single parent students. In addition to scholarship support, participants receive personal counseling and support services that help ensure success for these students.
Conant was a single parent for many years, as her husband passed away prematurely. After graduating from UVM in 1958, she began working for Champlain College where she worked for 48 years. In the early days, Champlain employees engaged in many different roles - Conant was a teacher, mentor, career counselor, admissions representative. Throughout her career, the role she was most passionate about was recruiting, Richardson said.
"She worked as an endless advocate for non-traditional students, like single parents. She would assure them that they would find a home at Champlain and would be able to succeed at their studies," she added. "She facilitated scholarship grants and identified mentors for these special population of students to turn to for support. She cared deeply for her students and felt a special bond with single parent scholars; personally understanding the challenges they faced."
More than 100 guests attended the 8th annual Women Supporting Education for Women benefit event in early October. During the evening's program, four single parent scholars and graduates shared stories of their transformative journeys from the possibility of living a life in poverty to successful professional careers. They also described how their lives and the future of their children have been forever changed through the support of the Champlain College Single Parents Program.
The annual gathering is made possible through the generosity and volunteerism of many caring community members including the planning committee: Tonya Bates, Liz Foster, Nicole Gorman, Julie Hollenbeck, Val Maniscalco, Aimee Marti, Diana McCargo, Dominique Pecor, Melody Shaw, & Amy Vazquez. Many of those attending have supported the Single Parents Program for years.
The single parents also meet with the Single Parents Program staff to ensure that they remain in college even when faced with a financial or personal crisis that could derail their education. The Single Parents Program's "Save the Day" emergency fund covers expenses such as rent assistance, heating bills, childcare, infant car seats, winter wear, and the purchase of snow tires for participating students who could not otherwise be able to afford these expenses. For more information about the Single Parents Program, please contact Carol Moran-Brown, Assistant VP of Student Life at 865-6426 or moran.@champlain.edu.
Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition. Champlain was named a "Top-Up-and-Coming School" by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2014 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit www.champlain.edu.