SUNY Broome Receives $10 Million; Largest Donation in School's History

Published 06/11 2014 04:50PM

Updated 06/11 2014 05:20PM

SUNY Broome announced the largest gift in the college's history this morning.

Emil Calice, who passed away in February of this year at the age of 89, has left SUNY Broome $10 millon to establish a fund that will give scholarships to students who are struggling to pay for higher education.

Calice grew up in Binghamton.

He came from a large Italian family and had eight brothers and sisters.

He served in World War II, as did his four brothers. One of them, James, was killed in the war.

Afterwards, Calice worked at IBM for his entire career.

Growing up in the depression era, in a way he lived the definition of frugal.

He invested wisely and had IBM stock, which steadily grew and split and grew.

Ironically, Calice never attended college, although he did take electronics and technology classes through Big Blue.

"He appreciated the value of an education. The other thing that was so important to him was this community. He has lived here his whole life. He never wanted to live anywhere else. This was his home. He recognized how important SUNY Broome and SUNY Binghamton were to the vitality of this community. He wanted to make a contribution to that. He wanted to help other students. I'm not sure if he would have gotten an education if IBM hadn't paid for it, so I think he wanted to help other students who didn't have the money to get an education to be able to do that," said niece Cheryl Gauzer.

"He grew up in the depression and I think he lived most of his life with the impression of the era, if you know what I mean? Five cents was a lot of money back then. He didn't squander money, never," said niece Pat Allen.

Calice had a life-long companion named Millie Barton. She also worked at IBM during the World War II era.

Barton was a naturalist and gardener.

Calice's gift will create the Paul and Mary Calice and Mildred Barton Memorial Scholarship Fund.

SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm says the scholarships given out on annual basis will be paid for through the interest on the $10 million gift.

It will likely be about a year before financial aid through the fund is awarded.

"It is a true testament to the impact that SUNY Broome has had on the community. That is how he found us, how we got on his radar screen, if you will. We know from the estate lawyer that he felt that SUNY Broome had such an impact on the community over the years. As I said, several family members have attended here, nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews, that he clearly understood the impact that a community college can have on its community," said Drumm.

The gift is one of the largest ever made to a SUNY community college, possibly the biggest.

The final exact amount will be known once the estate is totally settled.

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