Sold-Out Gala Marks 20th Anniversary

BengalaThe Buffalo State College Foundation Scholarship Gala celebrated its 20th anniversary with a clever new name—Bengala—at a sold-out event on April 29 in the Campbell Student Union Social Hall. M&T Bank and Merchants Insurance Group served as the presenting sponsors. John Di Sciullo from WBBZ-TV and Tom Koller, senior associate director of athletics, served as masters of ceremonies.

“I am especially pleased that this year’s gala is sold out,” said Susanne Bair, vice president for institutional advancement. “We are grateful to the Bengala committee co-chairs, Bob and Margaret Zak, and committee members Jonathan Amoia and Leslie Zemsky for their dedication to this event and our students. The gala is a great example of Western New York’s commitment to Buffalo State.”

As has been the case for the past two decades, all proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for students enrolled in the college’s prestigious Muriel A. Howard Honors Program. Since the fundraiser began in 1998, the gala has helped raise nearly $4 million in scholarship funds.

The honors program, which was founded in 1984, provides outstanding, intellectually committed undergraduate students with a rewarding, academically challenging learning experience. Those who are accepted into the program are expected to work hard and are rewarded with opportunities for scholarships, research, high academic achievement, and awards. The program is available to both first-time college students and transfer students. Currently, about 200 students are enrolled in the program.