SUNY Poly Alumna Celebrates Institution’s 50th Anniversary with
Major Gift

SUNY Poly Alumna Celebrates Institution’s 50th Anniversary with
Major Gift

Monday, March 7, 2016 - 12:06
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For Release:    Immediate – March 7, 2016

Contact:        Jerry Gretzinger, Vice President of Strategic Communications and Public Relations

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SUNY Poly Alumna Celebrates Institution’s 50th Anniversary with Major Gift

Planned gift will benefit students with disabilities


Utica, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute today announced that in honor of the 50th anniversary of its establishment (initially as Upper Division College in 1966), Iris Buczkowski, a noted alumna, is demonstrating her support and appreciation for the institution with a significant planned gift that will assist SUNY Poly in maintaining its commitment to providing world-class academic opportunities.

Buczkowski, of Rome, NY, attended SUNY Poly and earned both a master’s degree in business administration in technology management in 2007 and a bachelor’s degree in finance in 2004.  She is currently a Senior Advisor at Strategic Financial Services in Utica.  At Buczkowski’s request, the value of her gift will remain confidential but is in addition to and surpasses her similarly significant gift to the institution, which was announced in 2013.

“It is a wonderful honor for an academic institution to be recognized by its students in this way. We are extremely proud of Iris and the success her education at SUNY Poly has helped her to achieve.  She is truly a role model for current students and a great example of SUNY Poly alumni and their philanthropic spirit,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “We are extremely grateful to Iris for her continued generosity, which will enable future students to follow their dreams and achieve success as we embark on our next 50 years.”

“Iris has set an amazing example for all of our alumni and supporters. Her generosity and selfless commitment to SUNY Poly's students will positively impact their experience at our institution for years to come,” said Dr. Robert Geer, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SUNY Poly. “We are extremely thankful for the gift that Iris has chosen to make to SUNY Poly.”

Buczkowski’s first gift, in 2013, was earmarked for maintenance and operational expenses at the Student Center, and was memorialized with a conference room named in her honor.  The current gift will be designated to support students who have developmental and/or learning disabilities. Buczkowski’s request for such designation was inspired by her daughter’s autism diagnosis.

“I wanted to find a way that I could give back to my alma mater while also supporting students with disabilities. The gift I’m making to SUNY Poly will fund a new program to help these students take full advantage of all the incredible opportunities available here,” Buczkowski said. “I owe a great deal of my success to the education I received at SUNY Poly and it’s exciting to know that through this planned gift I’m promoting the success of future students, especially those who need the extra support to achieve that success.  I strongly encourage other alumni to join me by making gifts of their own, especially as we celebrate the 50th anniversary.”

"A gift of this magnitude builds enduring strength and will help countless students prepare for successful careers," said Dr. William Durgin, SUNY Poly Provost.  "It is a truly wonderful legacy that will permanently support the excellence of SUNY Poly."

Buczkowski’s gift launches a yearlong campaign marking the institution’s golden anniversary.  The history of SUNY Poly dates back to 1966, when Upper Division College at Herkimer/Rome/Utica was founded and began offering graduate programs to students using classrooms at a local elementary school.  In 1989 the college name was changed to the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNY IT).  SUNY Poly was officially formed in 2014 when the SUNY Board of Trustees unanimously approved the merger of SUNY IT with the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany.

“Iris is truly setting an example for the rest of the alumni community,” said Nick Grimmer, Assistant Vice President of Development. “It’s wonderful to see alumni in very successful careers who want to give back and support future generations of students. SUNY Poly is still quite young when compared to other institutions, so it’s great to see alums already thinking of leaving a legacy. We’ve nearly tripled these types of planned gifts because of Iris’ continued generosity. We cannot thank her enough.”




SUNY Polytechnic Institute. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany location and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica/Rome location. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $43 billion in high-tech investments, over 300 corporate partners, and maintains a statewide footprint. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 4,000 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty, and staff, in addition to Tech Valley High School. SUNY Poly operates the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) in Troy, the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Syracuse, the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua, and the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester where SUNY Poly also leads the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics. SUNY Poly founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) at its Utica location and also manages the $500 million New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, with nodes in Albany and Rochester, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information visit