RIT Honors Fire Victims with Seth Policzer-Syed Ali Turab Endowed Memorial Fund

Students may seek assistance to meet non-tuition related expenses

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Unanticipated expenses can overwhelm even the most careful financial planning, but the creation of a new fund at Rochester Institute of Technology may prevent such situations from undermining students’ long-term educational success.

RIT has established the Seth Policzer-Syed Ali Turab Endowed Memorial Fund to provide students with assistance for non-tuition related expenses, which may include academic supplies such as books and technology needs. Selection for this assistance is based on demonstrated financial need and will provide one-time limited funding to students who have encountered unexpected barriers to completing their education.

Seth Policzer and Syed Ali Turab, for whose memory the fund is created, lost their lives in an apartment fire that took place in Rochester on Nov. 9, 2007. Four other RIT students escaped the fire but lost all of their personal belongings.

“The tragic loss of Seth and Ali deeply touched our campus community, and it suggests to all of us the importance of banding together in times of need,” states Mary-Beth Cooper, RIT vice president for student affairs. “This was at the foundation of how these young men lived their lives, so the creation of this fund is indeed a fitting tribute to their memory.”

Donations from family and friends of both Policzer and Turab—along with contribution made by RIT students, faculty and staff—were instrumental in establishing the fund. In addition, an annual chili cook-off competition, which debuted last fall, will serve as an additional stream of funding in support of this effort.

RIT’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will administer the fund in conjunction with the university’s Division of Student Affairs.