Nazareth Receives $1M Gift to Help Urban Students Gain Greater Access to Higher Ed

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ROCHESTER, NY (04/12/2018) The vision to support high-achieving urban students and create greater access in higher education is strong for Nazareth alumna Mary Beth (Stone) West '84 and her husband, Hiry West - and they answered the need with a generous $1 million gift for an endowed scholarship for Nazareth College's Young Scholars program. High-achieving urban and diverse high school seniors can apply for Young Scholars, a comprehensive, year-round educational experience at the College. The summer-fall-spring learning model maximizes opportunities for learning, research, and internships. In gratitude for this generous gift, Nazareth will rename the College's East Avenue admissions house, the Stone-West Admissions House, in honor of the West's parents. The dedication ceremony takes place on Sunday, April 15.

"Nazareth is a special place to both of us, and we want to give young students of diversity the opportunity to experience a Nazareth education," said the Wests. "We see so many intelligent, hard-working students writing their own success stories at Nazareth, and we are glad we can help make that possible for future students."

Previously the Wests provided annual support for the Young Scholars and also created an endowment to support African-American students with financial need and academic promise. To date, five Nazareth students have benefited from that fund.

"We are very grateful for the continued support from Mary Beth and Hiry West," said Nazareth President Daan Braveman. "They have made such a tremendous impact with their support of the Young Scholars program. This gift will create even more opportunities for students who would not otherwise get the chance to fulfill their academic promise and attain their dreams."

West graduated from Nazareth with a bachelor's degree in management in 1984. She went on to earn a master's in marketing from Columbia University. She was recently named The Hershey Co.'s senior vice president and chief growth officer, effective May 1, 2017. Previously, she served more than 20 years in executive positions at Mondelez International, Inc. (previously known as Kraft Foods, Inc.). She also served as executive vice president, and chief customer and marketing officer at J.C. Penney Co.

Hiry West, a Nazareth College trustee, is a small business consultant and angel investor. His current investment, Medicare & Medicaid Advisory Group, is a community advocate group that helps patients and their caregivers navigate the complicated process of becoming eligible for Medicaid benefits.