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Giving at CUNY: BMCC Faculty and Staff Show Support

August 31, 2009 | Philanthropy at CUNY

The commitment of CUNY’s faculty and staff to their colleges and students often extends far beyond the classroom. A great example is Borough of Manhattan Community College, where this commitment has culminated in generous financial support.

Dr. Fred Peskoff, chair of BMCC’s mathematics department, always has been inspired by his hard-working students. “Many of my students are going to school full-time and working full-time to make ends meet. Many are parents and are dealing with financial stress. Yet they excel, he says. “When our students go on to successful lives and careers, their education will be the foundation we helped create and nurture.”

Impressed by the impact of education on his students, Dr. Peskoff and his mother, Leila Peskoff, created the Simon Peskoff Memorial Scholarship Fund with an initial gift of $10,000. Dr. Peskoff has added to the fund and helped raise other contributions to increase its value to $90,000, which supports four scholarships each year. After Leila Peskoff’s death, the fund was renamed the Leila and Simon Peskoff Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The late Dennis Bonner, BMCC’s long time director of admissions, shared Dr. Peskoff’s commitment to its students. After a long career in administration, Mr. Bonner left a legacy gift of more than $200,000 to create the Bonner Memorial Scholarship Fund.

BMCC Registrar Gregory Wist and Bursar Steven Reis recall that “Dennis was an outstanding educator who always made a special connection with the students.” BMCC students have been awarded Bonner Scholarships each year for nearly a decade. “What we hope lives on through his memorial scholarship is Dennis’ genuine belief in the potential of each student.”