Investing in futures: Scholarships play an integral role in opening doors for students

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For Tristan Archambault ’22, receiving a scholarship changed his college experience. It gave him the opportunity to take summer classes, stay on track with his degree and be a member of the Mustang men’s ice hockey team.  

“I could not have been more proud and honored to accept such a high honor here at SUNY Morrisville,” Archambault said of the Crawford Scholarship he received. “Scholarship support is a very important part of helping students advance their education.”

Last fall, more than 130 students and scholarship donors shared his sentiment as they gathered in Seneca Dining Hall to celebrate the return of SUNY Morrisville’s annual Scholarship Brunch. On hiatus for the past several years, the brunch was restored to its annual tradition form this year to celebrate the important work of scholarship donors and the accomplishments of student recipients. 

“A significant number of our students experience a gap between all the aid for which they qualify, including parent loans, and the cost of college attendance,” SUNY Morrisville President David Rogers shared in his remarks. “Scholarships are a critical tool in filling that gap and are an investment in a generation of students and our community.”

Affordability, along with the chance for the high school hockey standout to play collegiately for the Mustangs, was a persuasive incentive for Archambault, a human performance & health promotion bachelor’s degree major from Plattsburgh, New York.

“Morrisville does a great job accommodating students in every way possible,” Archambault said.

Scholarships are among the many ways.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Morrisville College Foundation scholarship program provided scholarships for 505 students. Scholarship support totaled $581,000, a more than $100,000 increase from the previous year, thanks to an outpouring of support from generous alumni, parents, faculty, staff and other college supporters.

The academic year also saw the endowment of two new scholarships: The Joan Johnson Memorial Scholarship and the Ralph Whitehead Memorial Award. Endowed scholarships must reach a minimum threshold of $25,000 and then provide an award to a student each year in perpetuity. 

“My advice for anyone thinking about applying for a scholarship is to go for it,” Archambault said. “It is impossible to get what you want if you don’t try.”

His Morrisville education came packed with opportunities. “I have embedded myself as deeply as I can in all the college has to offer,” he said.

In addition to playing hockey, he works as an admissions ambassador, giving tours to potential students. The applied learning in his classes has netted more than he ever could have imagined.

I am in a place that cares so much about my education. I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.

Tristan Archambault '22

“I feel like I would not have the experiences Morrisville is providing me anywhere else,” Archambault said. “I am in a place that cares so much about my education. I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world. For sure.”

Joan Johnson Memorial Scholarship

The newly endowed Joan Johnson Memorial Scholarship honors beloved faculty member Dr. Joan Johnson ’74. Johnson served as an associate professor of travel & tourism and resort & recreation management from 1981 until her passing in 2018 and was instrumental in the growth of these programs. Her scholarship was awarded for the first time for the Fall 2019 semester and is awarded every year to a continuing student enrolled in a hospitality program.

Ralph Whitehead Memorial Scholarship

The Ralph Whitehead Memorial Scholarship has been endowed after a passionate fundraising campaign by  former students and colleagues of retired professor Ralph Whitehead, who taught agricultural engineering at Morrisville for 28 years. Retiring in 1983, Whitehead is remembered not only for the impact of his teaching, but also for his connection to his alumni. Whitehead’s scholarship will be awarded to a student in the agricultural engineering or diesel technology programs starting in Fall 2020.

Leave a Legacy!

Scholarships are the most common gift designation. You can designate your gift to general scholarships or direct your gift to one of the more than 100 existing named scholarship funds by visiting To leave a lasting legacy at the college by setting up your own named scholarship, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 315.684.6020 or visit

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