On June 30, the Admissions Office hosted the fourth annual Buffalo State Challenge awards luncheon in E. H. Butler Library. The awards ceremony honored the achievements of high school students participating in the “Challenge” incentive program, which provides admission and scholarships to students who meet specific academic benchmarks by graduation.
The luncheon was attended by a cross-section of the campus community—students, parents and school administrators—and featured a keynote address from Congressman Brian Higgins, a SUNY Buffalo State distinguished alumnus.
“This year was especially momentous as it marked our first graduating cohort,” said Kenneth Robinson, coordinator of the Buffalo State Challenge program.
First implemented in 2010, the Challenge program has served as many as 125 students and includes two remaining cohorts from McKinley High School.
The Buffalo State Challenge program offers a $1,500 scholarship to high school seniors who graduate with an 85 or higher grade point average and a combined SAT score in reading and math of 1,000 or higher.
“This year, two seniors from McKinley High School achieved the requisite benchmarks and won the scholarship,” Robinson said. “Eleven other participants in the program have acknowledged their plans to attend Buffalo State in the fall. Several others are expected to take advantage of our dual-admissions agreements with Erie Community College and other colleges.”
During his keynote address, Higgins encouraged students to prepare for the real world by competing as global citizens. He also spoke of the distinct advantages his Buffalo State education has provided—smaller classroom sizes and quality academic programs, like political science—which have benefited his career as a public official.
Higgins also presented Hal D. Payne, vice president for student affairs, with an honorary citation. The distinctive recognition reflected the Congressman’s remarks made from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, in which he lauded Buffalo State for creating the Challenge program.
Mary Jo Jagord, director of the Alumni Association, provided Congressman Higgins with a Buffalo State cap and jacket to wear with pride in Washington, D.C. Higgins expressed appreciation for being invited, and thanked Payne, Robinson, and Carmela Thompson, director of admissions, specifically.