UB Honors Students Receive Scholarships and Boost Buffalo

Release Date: October 9, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Four University at Buffalo honors students are becoming big Buffalo boosters as recipients of 43x79 Build Buffalo Scholarships that include internships and mentoring opportunities with local business leaders.

Freshmen Benjamin Freer of Amherst and Kari Mergenhagen of Williamsville were selected as this year's winners for the four-year scholarship, following in the footsteps of the first recipients -- Julie Mann and Vikas Dua.

Mann, a sophomore from Williamsville, interned this summer in marketing services at The Buffalo News and plans to return for future internships after a semester abroad in Spain, a part of her studies as a double major in Spanish and English.

Dua, also a sophomore from Williamsville, is majoring in computer engineering and found his internship with BioEconomy Partners a "mentoring experience that has me believing we can rebuild the Western New York economy." He said he gained hands-on experience in Web design, database manipulation, networking and online newsletters in addition to observing the company CEO on a daily basis.

Howard Zemsky, a managing partner of Taurus Partners LLC and chair of the 43x79 Foundation Committee, said the scholarship winners "have the potential to become our future business and community leaders."

He added: "As our leading local university, UB is central to economic development efforts for this region, and while we knew we couldn't afford to support hundreds of students, we felt that offering scholarship and internship opportunities for several outstanding local students could provide the critical mass needed to make professional and educational opportunities available for dozens more."

Created with an initial gift of $48,000 from the 43x79 Group, and matched by a $40,000 pledge from prominent business executive Frank McGuire, the scholarship program will sponsor each student for four years while adding two new students a year.

The 43x79 Group, named after Buffalo's latitude and longitude, is comprised of local business leaders who believe they have a civic obligation to support the region and its economic growth.

McGuire, chairman of The McGuire Group, Inc., is an active civic leader affiliated with several professional, community and political organizations. He is a 1953 UB graduate, currently serves on the executive committee of The Campaign for UB and counts this gift as part of his generous campaign pledge.

The scholarship gift is part of UB's $250 million campaign, one of the largest ever conducted by a public university in New York and New England. Although it's the fifth major fund-raising campaign conducted by UB, it's the first national/international campaign, the first university-wide campaign and the first to be alumni-driven with campaign volunteer leaders from all over the country. Funds raised will be used to enrich academic programs, support students ranging from undergraduates to post-doctoral students and to enhance university life.

Those wishing to donate to the 43x79 Build Buffalo Scholarship fund should contact Margaret Phillips at 716-645-6000 ext. 1178 or mcp2@buffalo.edu.

For information on how you can support the University at Buffalo, go to http://www.buffalo.edu/giving.