Alumna’s $1 Million Bequest Will Boost Ag Sciences
Marcia Stofman Morton ’61 made her first gift to Cornell in 1969: $5 in cash. Now, some 40 years later, she is leaving a $1 million bequest to Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The bulk of her gift–$750,000–will fund undergraduate scholarships in the agricultural sciences program, an interdisciplinary major that allows students to pursue a general education in agriculture. The remaining money will be used to create a new summer internship for a student at the Cornell Plantations and fund undergraduate research at the Lab of Ornithology.
“I think ever since I graduated and began to save a little bit of money, I’ve wanted to give money to Cornell,” Morton said. “I appreciated my education and the Wood Foundation scholarship I received during my sophomore year, when my father, the co-owner and manager of a movie theater in Atlantic City, N.J., lost his business.”
American Indian Program Gets Scholarship Boost
The American Indian Program (AIP) in CALS is building upon its long-time partnership with Frank Bonamie, the founder of pallet supply company Ongweoweh Corp., to provide more scholarship opportunities for students. Bonamie, a former chief of the Cayuga Indian Nation of New York, made a commitment of $375,000 to enhance his current scholarship, taking advantage of the ongoing Scholarship Challenge, which matches new gifts for undergraduate need-based scholarships on a one-to-three basis.
He is joined by his son Dan Bonamie, president and CEO of Ongweoweh, who has committed $500,000 from Ongweoweh for a new scholarship for the AIP. In addition, CALS is moving forward with several new partnerships with Ongweoweh, including sustainability projects, summer internships, and other activities to support Native American/Indigenous student recruitment and mentoring.
Emerita Gives the Gift of Education
Her contributions to the study of education at Cornell spanned 32 years, and now the legacy of Helen L. Wardeberg will support student scholarship for many more. The former chair of the Department of Education (from 1968 to 1986) left a $650,000 bequest to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Mann Library when she died on Feb. 27, 2011. Half of the gift will support scholarships for transfer students. The rest will be used to establish a named fund for Mann Library acquisitions and services.
“It is wonderful to get a gift like this from an emeritus faculty member,” said library director Mary Ochs ’79. “It demonstrates to us in a very clear way the value that the faculty place on the library. This gift will have a clear impact: It enhances our ability to maintain Mann’s world-class collection so it can continue to support the work of the next generation of CALS faculty at the highest level.”