The council – probably best known for its annual Toys for Tots drive during the holiday season and the work it does year-round to support reservists' families – created the Marine Sergeant William D. Powers Scholarship to recognize Powers for his commitment to the council's mission.
"We wanted to honor Bill for the work he does," said John Curry, who serves as financial director for the council.
Powers served five years active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and serves as honorary president of the Marine Corps Coordinating Council. He was the chairman of the Republican State Committee from 1991 through 2001, at which time he founded Powers & Company, an Albany-based governmental and business development consulting firm. He has lectured on politics, party organization and the relationship between politics and the media at several undergraduate and graduate universities, including the State University of New York and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
The scholarship also gives the council another way to show its support for local reservists and appreciation for their sacrifice and duty. "It helps keep our retention levels up, and gives our reservists another plus – another benefit," Curry explained.
The number of scholarships and the award will vary; the $30,000 gift will be invested as an endowment, with 5 percent of the market value of the account being used each year for scholarships. The scholarships will be awarded in both the fall and spring semesters to reservists pursuing any course of study at the college; those serving in the 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines, will be given preference.
The council will nominate candidates for the scholarship, with the Foundation's Scholarship Committee making the final selection of scholarship recipients.
"I am honored that the Marine Corps Coordinating Council has decided to partner with Hudson Valley Community College," said Foundation President Sarah M. Boggess, who also serves as the college's vice president for institutional advancement. "The Foundation is proud of the role it plays in helping students achieve their educational goals by providing scholarships that make an already affordable education even more accessible."
The Foundation currently offers more than 100 scholarships – with awards ranging from $250 to full tuition, fees and books – to incoming, current and returning students. Hudson Valley's tuition for the 2004-05 academic year is $2,600; the cost of books and fees depends on a student's course of study.
The Hudson Valley Community College Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable corporation formed in 1983 to philanthropically support the college's mission. Gifts to the Foundation from alumni, corporations and friends are used to enhance programs, facilities and scholarship opportunities at the college.
The Marine Corps Coordinating Council is comprised of volunteers that represent a cross-section of the community, including both Marines on active duty and in the reserves, as well as businesses and individual supporters of the Marines Corps.
Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business; as well as programs run through the Educational Opportunity Center offering certification programs in workforce and academic preparation. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has nearly 60,000 alumni.