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RELEASE: Nyack Receives Education Excellence Award from Beraca Baptist Church

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Tuesday January 19, 2016


Nyack College Named an Honoree for its

$1 Million Scholarship Fund Earmarked for Haitian Students

Displaced by the 2010 Earthquake

 Beraca Baptist Church & BCDC

Applauds College’s Response to Natural Disaster

The Rev. Mullery Jean-Pierre, senior pastor and president of Beraca Baptist Church and Beraca Community Development Corporation in Brooklyn, NY presented the Excellence in Education Award to Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary at its annual Haiti Earthquake Memorial Service and Award Ceremony. The event commemorated the victims of the 2010 natural disaster and honored organizations that responded to help Haiti recover and restore the Caribbean nation. The Congressional Record included this recognition in the 114th U.S. Congress proceedings presented by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY 8th District).

Six years ago following the earthquake, Nyack/ATS President Michael G. Scales announced an institutional mandate that established a $1 million scholarship fund for Haitian students displaced by the earthquake. Over a 4-5 year period, ten full-tuition undergraduate and 10 full-tuition seminary scholarships were made available. After the completion of the degree programs, the students were expected to be a part of a new generation of leadership who would return and help rebuild the Caribbean nation.

“Nyack College received the Education Excellence Award for their service to Haiti and the Haitian people in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. Note that it’s not an Excellence in Education Award,” explains Rev. Jean-Pierre. “The difference is, excellence in education is practiced in the classroom, campus, or learning environment; whereas, education excellence is when you take what is learned in the classroom and apply it to life's situation where it's needed the most—regardless of cost. That's what Michael Scales and Nyack College have done. Many Christian colleges believe in integrating faith in learning; that is Excellence in Education but "integrating love and learning" as President Scales puts it—that's education excellence.”

The pastor compared Nyack’s generosity of 20 scholarships to several Ivy League universities and colleges who provided one or two scholarships to Haitian students. He says, “Nyack's scholarships have unearthed 12 diamonds in the rough from under the rubble of the earthquake, and so far two of them graduated with honors. That’s education excellence!”

A total of five students have graduated; seven are still enrolled; and two who completed undergraduate degrees are now enrolled in master’s degree programs. Nearly every student earned a GPA between 3.38 and 3.98. According to Nyack Executive Vice President and Treasurer Dr. David Jennings, as of December 31, 2015, $888,000 in tuition has been awarded. By the end of the 2015-2016 academic year, $960,000 in scholarships will have been awarded. Awards will exceed the initial commitment of $1 million announced in 2010.

*Pictured above (l-r): Michael Scales President of Nyack College; Craig Sider President of NYC Leadership Center (for CEO Mackenzie Pier); Marie Yolaine Toms CEO of Community2Community; U.S. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries; and Michael Fromer, CEO Capital Resources LLC.

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