Siblings Create Scholarship in Honor of Parents

April 06 2017
Category: Alumni

Image of the Shabanowitz Family

Dr. Robert Shabanowitz ’75 and sister Judith Shabanowitz Raatz ’70 shared a desire to honor their parents’ legacy.  Since their family held that continuing education was a noble, worthwhile goal, they decided it would be most fitting to establish a scholarship for continuing education in their parents’ names.  The Harry and Sophie Shabanowitz ’79 Scholarship provides need-based financial aid for adults returning to college for the first time or to enhance their career goals.  This gift pays tribute to their mother Sophie Shabanowitz ’79, who received her Elmira College bachelor’s degree as a Continuing Education student, and to their father Dr. Harry Shabanowitz, a long-serving Professor of Mathematics, who began his career at Elmira College teaching in Continuing Education.  The family, friends and students of Dr. Shabanowitz may contribute to the scholarship at any time.  

Both Robert and Judith graduated from Elmira College.  Judy received her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts with a concentration in English literature in 1970, later returning to Elmira College for post-graduate study.  Robert received his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences in 1975.  He completed his master’s and doctorate degrees in physiology from Kent State University in 1979 and 1984 respectively, and completed post-doctoral research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In 2008 he received a master’s in bioethics from The Medical College of Wisconsin.  He is Director of the Advanced Reproductive Technologies-Andrology Lab at the Geisinger Clinic in Danville, Pennsylvania.  He lectured on the subject of Assisted Reproductive Technologies at his Elmira College Reunion 2005. 

Joann Kowalski, Director of Continuing Education and Graduate Studies, is grateful for this scholarship.  She notes, “Continuing Education has on average 200 non-traditional-aged students at Elmira College, who often have additional responsibilities beyond being a student. These students often return to college to advance their careers and their earning potential.  Need-based financial aid available to Continuing Education students can be limited. Many require extra scholarship help to ensure the successful completion of their degree and assist in fulfilling their aspirations. Therefore, the Shabanowitz scholarship is valuable and welcome opportunity for eligible students.”

If you are interested in establishing a gift or scholarship to honor someone in your family or another special person, please contact Peggy Harris Arnesen ’63, Director of Major and Planned Gifts at (607) 735-1893 or