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3 ECSU Foundation gifts benefit history center, career services, STEP/CAP

Published on November 17, 2023

3 ECSU Foundation gifts benefit history center, career services, STEP/CAP

foundation check
Katherine Maroney, talent acquisition specialist at Enterprise (second from right), presents a donation beside Eastern’s Ben Pauley, Clifford Marrett and Bill Salka.

Three programs at Eastern Connecticut State University — in Connecticut history, career services and summer transition — will benefit from recent gifts to the ECSU Foundation.

Enterprise Holdings, which operates Enterprise, Alamo and National car rental companies, has donated $35,000 over the past 14 months to the Career Services Fund, which supports students through the Office of Career Success at Eastern. The fund supports student networking events, interview preparation for women business students and a career readiness conference. It helps students obtain professional attire for interviews and supports a career expo for first-year students.

Katherine Maroney, talent acquisition specialist at Enterprise, said Enterprise has hired 15 Eastern students and alumni in the Hartford area alone in the past year.

“We donate to Career Services to support their goals and to provide diverse opportunities for students to work on professional development and prepare for their transition after graduation,” she said. “We appreciate their partnership and look forward to continuing to support their work.”

The Center for Connecticut studies received a total of $20,000 donated by three people: Barbara Tucker, professor emerita of history and former director of the center; and Sandra and Deborah Roth. The late David Roth, a history professor at Eastern for 23 years, was the center’s original director.

Balcerski Connecticut Research
History Professor Tom Balcerski works with students in the Center for Connecticut Studies.

The gifts will help the center acquire new collections and promote its mission and activities. It will enable the center to purchase materials needed as it begins the process of making its history collections digitally available to the public, said Thomas Balcerski, associate professor of history and the center’s new director. The center, located on the fourth floor of the library, recently acquired historical records from the Willimantic Town Hall, collected by history students during the building’s renovation.

“I am pleased to report that work is underway at the center to increase its usable space for research and classroom activity, to make room for its growing collections, and to attract researchers, both in-person and remotely,” said Balcerski.

A $10,000 gift from the KeyBank Foundation will fund a scholarship for the Summer Transition to Eastern Program (STEP/CAP). The six-week summer program builds academic skills and is an alternative path to admission for invited students, helping them prepare for the rigors of college coursework.

stepcap computer
STEP/CAP students work in a computer lab.

“Since our office became a reality a little over two years ago, we have been working hard to remove roadblocks from the everyday life of the students in our programs,” said Chris

Ambrosio, director of Opportunity Programs at Eastern. “While our STEP/CAP students face many challenges both in their academic and personal life, funding their education will forever be the biggest hill to climb. It is for this reason that scholarship makes the biggest impact for our STEP/CAP students at Eastern.”

The scholarship gift was one of 25 charitable donations made by the KeyBank Foundation to nonprofits in its Connecticut and Western Massachusetts markets. KeyBank is headquartered in Cleveland.

“The KeyBank Foundation has provided more than $50,000 in contributions over the past three years, earmarked for the STEP-CAP program,” said Joe McGann, director of Institutional Advancement at Eastern. “These donations have helped students who have significant unmet need. We are grateful for this critical support.”

Written by Lucinda Weiss