M&T Bank Commits $100,000 in Support of Rochester City Scholars Program

RIT welcomes 26 new scholars as program enters its second year

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Jonathan Ntheketha

RIT President Bill Destler and Rebecca Johnson welcomed the incoming members of Rochester City Scholars Program during a reception at Liberty Hill on Aug. 31.

For 26 recent graduates of the Rochester City School District, the cost of a college education will not impede them from their dreams, and M&T Bank is taking steps to help ensure those dreams become reality.

M&T Bank is committing $100,000 to the Rochester City Scholars Program, which provides scholarships covering full tuition for eligible students admitted to Rochester Institute of Technology. The program at RIT is entering its second year.

“Education is the key that unlocks the door to economic freedom and community leadership,” says Dan Burns, president of M&T Bank, Rochester region. “It is in that spirit that M&T Bank is proud to enhance its long-standing partnership with RIT by supporting the Rochester City Scholars Program.”

According to the Rochester City School District, financial challenges prevent more than three-quarter of its students from attending college. Nearly 90 percent of the district’s families earn $21,000 or less annually. Recognizing these obstacles, RIT President Bill Destler championed the Rochester City Scholars Program. He and his wife, Rebecca Johnson, are the founding supporters of this initiative.

“This is an opportunity for city students to have aspirations of attending a world-class university,” Destler explains. “It also helps attract the best and brightest from the area’s largest school district.”

In addition to this year’s 26 incoming scholars, the program returns 25 students from last year’s inaugural class—a retention rate of 92 percent.

“We are extremely grateful for M&T Bank’s support, which allows the program to serve an expanding number of deserving students,” adds Destler.

Students who have lived in the Rochester City School District for three years and attended a city high school during that period are eligible for the Rochester City Scholars Program. Students must be accepted to RIT for full-time enrollment in any of the university’s baccalaureate programs, and family income must not exceed $60,000.

M&T operates a regional headquarters in downtown Rochester and employs more than 500 people in the Rochester area. The bank’s branch at Park Point Plaza, near RIT, serves as M&T’s primary location to pilot advancements in ATMs, self-serve kiosks and digital information displays.