James O. Grunebaum, Buffalo State professor emeritus of philosophy and humanities, and his wife, Penelope Prentice, are helping to attract a new generation of honor students to Buffalo State.
Grunebaum and Prentice established a $500,000 charitable remainder unitrust that will support students in Buffalo State’s All College Honors Program. They committed this generous gift during the silent phase of Transforming Lives: A Campaign for Buffalo State, a $20 million fundraising initiative the university is embarking upon over the next three years.
Available only by special admission, the All College Honors Program offers selected students seven identified honors classes, as well as honors credit through various disciplines. Currently, approximately 200 students are enrolled.
Grunebaum, who joined the Buffalo State faculty in 1971, directed the All College Honors Program from 1987 to 1999. He excelled in this position and earned the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1997. He retired in 2005.
"I loved teaching in the honors program," Grunebaum said. "The classes were small; the kids were bright and hard-working. It was just a delight."
Every year since he began directing the program, Grunebaum personally funded one student scholarship annually. Additionally, he, along with his mother, Helen, and his brother, Robert, demonstrated a deep commitment to the program by establishing the Grunebaum Family Scholarship Fund in 2002.
Grunebaum said he wanted to ensure the highly regarded program continues to recruit excellent students into the future.
"I've been involved with the All College Honors Program from the beginning," Grunebaum said. "It's important to Buffalo State to attract good students who might not come here without the extra incentives the program provides."