Two incoming Geneseo freshman will be awarded the Kelsey A. Annese ‘16 Memorial Scholarship and Matthew G. Hutchinson ‘16 Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund in the upcoming spring and fall, respectively.
The scholarships were established in remembrance of the former Geneseo students who were killed in an off campus incident in January 2016, and they will be awarded to two individuals who exemplify the characteristics embodied by both students, according to the respective websites for Annese and Hutchinson’s scholarships. Both scholarships will be renewable for all four years.
The college and community hopes these scholarships will serve to honor Annese and Hutchinson, according to Vice President for College Advancement and Executive Director of the Geneseo Foundation K. Johnson Bowles.
“There was so much outpouring of love for both of them and the community wanted there to be an action,” Bowles said. “They wanted there to be something that said how important they were to our community and to their families.”
College Advancement oversaw the process of creating the scholarships, as well as obtaining the funding necessary to support them. The college held fundraisers, received donations from sponsors including alumni, faculty and students, in addition to a donation by Student Association, according to Director of Special Development John Linfoot. Students also helped fundraise $9,541 for the scholarships at a T-shirt sale and bowling event fundraiser, Linfoot said.
A total of $47,539 is available for the scholarship in honor of Annese and $45,001 for the scholarship in honor of Hutchinson, according to Linfoot.
“Other funds will be in endowments, which will build up and last ad infinitum,” Linfoot said. “We’re continuing our fundraising efforts and there are other things that will happen in the future that we’ll be planning.”
Linfoot believes the scholarships allow Geneseo to continue to attract the best students to the college.
Both Annese and Hutchinson were deeply involved in the college community and beyond, according to Bowles. Annese was the captain for the women’s basketball team and Hutchinson was on the hockey team and also served as a volunteer for the local fire department.
Donor Mike Grammatico ‘87 contributed funding to Annese’s scholarships because he believed it was important that the college commemorated the students in some manner. Grammatico played on the men’s basketball team while attending Geneseo with Annese’s father.
“When I went to Geneseo, we referred to it as ‘Happy Valley’ because it’s a special place and because it’s a special entity, but it’s also a special community and there’s a lot of special people,” Grammatico said in a phone interview. “I think that these two people touched a lot of people’s lives in the college and in the community, and I think this is a positive step toward keeping Geneseo a special place.”
Bowles also believes that the Geneseo community at large is a generous and close-knit one.
“We’re all grateful to our community and the ways in which we come together and are supportive of each other, in good times and bad,” Bowles said. “And I think that this was a very meaningful and moving example.”