May 24, 2017

More than 40 Students Share in $40,000 Thanks to the Stewart’s Shops – Empire State College Scholarship

All Scholarship Recipients are SUNY Community College Graduates

Stewart's Shops

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – May 25, 2017) Forty-thousand dollars was distributed to 44 SUNY Empire State College students again this year, thanks to the Stewart's Shops – Empire State College Scholarship.

Students are awarded a $1,000 scholarship for one academic year, with half the total amount awarded each semester.

“I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for the tremendous assistance this will provide toward the cost of my education,” said recipient Christopher DelVecchio, a resident of Schenectady, N.Y., who is completing a Master of Arts in Work and Labor Policy. “I never thought I would embark on the journey of pursuing a college education. Schenectady County Community College and SUNY Empire State College have provided me with the havens where I have built a commitment and love for lifelong learning. My faculty mentors, staff members and the college as a whole create an environment where learning flourishes, and I am proud to call Empire State College home.”

Selection of recipients is made on the basis of financial need and academic promise.

In a letter acknowledging her scholarship, nursing student Rebecca Gijanto, of Schuylerville, N.Y., said, “You have made a huge difference in my life. This scholarship gives me the ability to follow my dream to be a nurse practitioner. I love helping people, and I am among those who are fortunate enough to love their jobs and to have the opportunity to become a better person.”

Recipients must have graduated from one of the 16 SUNY community colleges located in areas where Stewart’s Shops does business.

An application for the Stewart's Shops scholarship and the list of the 16 community colleges are available online.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017, is the deadline to apply for scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year.

“Providing scholarships to Empire State College, which will create opportunities for our customers, is a great way for Stewart’s to invest in our communities,” said Susan Law Dake, president of Stewart’s Foundation.

“The generous support of SUNY Empire student scholarships is a testament to the deep commitment of Stewart’s Shops to the people and the communities they serve, and I am extremely grateful for all their support,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “Stewart’s Shops scholarships have everything to do with expanding access, as they lower costs for students. Equally important, Stewart’s Shops scholarships sustain our nontraditional students as they work to support their families, volunteer with community organizations and study to complete their degrees.”

This scholarship program was first established in 2005 with a gift of $5,000, which was matched by the Empire State College Foundation. Since then, Stewart’s Shops has increased its annual support of the scholarship to $20,000, and the college foundation has continued its match, resulting in $40,000 in scholarship awards each year.

Since 2005, Stewart’s Shops has contributed $196,000 to the college foundation in support of the Stewart’s Shops – Empire State College Scholarship.

About Stewart's Shops

Stewart’s Shops, a family- and employee-owned enterprise, has been in business for more than 70 years, continually evolving to meet customer needs and changing the industry in the process. Today, there are more than 335 Stewart’s Shops located in 31 counties across upstate New York and southern Vermont.

Stewart’s Shops employs more than 4,500 people in its shops, dairy and ice cream plant, distribution center and corporate offices.

Employees own nearly 40 percent of the company through the Stewart’s Shops Employee Stock Ownership Plan and are referred to as “partners.”

Stewart’s Shops manufacture and/or distribute three-quarters of what they sell. Milk and eggs are collected daily from family farms near the company plant.

The partners working in each shop are better able to serve customers thanks to the support they receive from the plant and distribution center, located in Greenfield Center, N.Y.

The company donates approximately $2.5 million a year to local non-profits, and the two Dake family foundations each contribute an equivalent amount.

The 2016 Stewart’s Holiday Match program set a record for the third consecutive season, raising more than $1.85 million for local children’s organizations, for a total of more than $24 million to date.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system yearly, educates nearly 19,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 30 locations across the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and coursework on site, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

The college’s 78,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at