Grantee Stories

Hunter College

Some of the outstanding Hunter College Mother’s Day Scholars for the 2018-2019 academic year

48 Mother’s Day Scholarships awarded in memory of Olga Graham

Hunter College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY) has a vibrant setting in the heart of New York City. Founded in 1870, Hunter celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2020. Hunter has a long tradition of expanding opportunity for students from all backgrounds and a mission to value learning “as a vital foundation for a more just and inclusive society.” Now home to over 23,000 students, Hunter College has achieved notable US News “Best College” rankings for regional universities including:

  • #5 for top public colleges
  • #3 for social mobility
  • #7 for helping veterans
  • #5 for ethnic diversity

Hunter is also in the top 7 schools, along with 5 other CUNY campuses, for graduates carrying the lowest student debt. In fact, 75% of Hunter students graduate debt-free.

OUR INITIATIVES  

Olga Graham (maiden name Leichter) was always extremely proud of being a Hunter graduate in the class of 1927. At that time, the undergraduate college was for women only, becoming coeducational in 1964. She also attended Hunter College High School, at the time on the college grounds.   

Every May, families pay tribute to the special women in their lives who attended Hunter – by making a donation to Hunter’s Mother’s Day Scholarship Fund. The fund provides scholarships for Hunter’s students who are often first-generation Americans and the first in their families to attend college. 

 In 2009, the GFF began donating multiple annual scholarships through the Mother’s Day Scholarship Fund in Olga’s honor, with 48 scholarships awarded as of 2021. Olga Graham is remembered each year in Hunter’s N.Y. Times Mother’s Day ad, shown in the Image Gallery. 

The annual Mother’s Day campaign is a cherished tradition at Hunter which allows students to work less and go to school more. They can remain in school and complete their education. Read letters below from 10 Olga Graham scholars on the impact these awards had on their lives. 

The Graham Family Foundation began supporting the Hunter Mother’s Day Scholarship Fund in 2009, a few years after its inception in 2005. Since then the foundation has made an important difference in the lives of our students, many of whom are first-generation Americans and often the first in the family to attend college. The generous support provided by the Graham Family Foundation helps relieve the financial pressure our students feel, thereby freeing them to take an unpaid internship or a full course load each semester. The Graham Family Foundation partners with us to give our students the best gift of all - the gift of education.

- Katy McNabb, Special Projects Director, Hunter College Foundation
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Mother’s Day Scholarships awarded in memory of Olga Graham in 12 years 

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Amount of grant funding each student received

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Total Olga Graham Mother’s Day scholarships awarded as of 2021

Image Gallery