Three deaf and hard-of-hearing students in business-related majors at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf received a new scholarship funded by the Frank B. Sullivan Memorial Foundation.
The recipients are Jacob Schwall, a new media marketing major from Fishers, Ind.; Peter Bilzerian, a management information systems/finance major from Holden, Mass.; and Bakar Ali, an MBA student from Rochester, N.Y.
The foundation contributed $50,000 to an endowed fund in 2018 that provides scholarship support to RIT/NTID students enrolled in an associate-level degree program offered through NTID’s Business Studies Department, and baccalaureate and master’s programs offered through RIT’s Saunders College of Business. The endowed fund also provides general support for the Deaf Leadership and Community Development program, a future bachelor’s degree program that will be offered through NTID’s Department of Liberal Studies. Prior to the creation of the endowed fund, the foundation awarded 19 deaf and hard-of-hearing students pursuing business degrees, ranging from associate to graduate levels, through NTID’s Business Studies Department and Saunders College of Business.
“I’m incredibly honored to receive this prestigious award from the Frank B. Sullivan Memorial Foundation,” said Bilzerian. “The foundation’s generosity and support is truly appreciated. It’s gratifying knowing that our deaf and hard-of-hearing business students not only have support from RIT, but also the generous supporters of NTID. Dr. Sullivan’s legacy lives on through the impact the recipients make on the world.”
Sullivan, a member of NTID’s National Advisory Group and the National Captioning Institute, among other organizations, worked to provide access to life, automobile and other types of insurance to the deaf community and was an advocate for deaf people’s ability to live independently, drive and to have closed-caption programming on television.
“For generations to come, this scholarship will help change the lives of those who will benefit from it,” said NTID President Gerry Buckley. “We are grateful to the Frank B. Sullivan Memorial Foundation for this generous gift.”