SUNY Broome gets $10M from Binghamton man's will

By Kelly McCarthy

June 11, 2014 Updated Jun 11, 2014 at 6:48 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) SUNY Broome Community College was given $10 million from a Binghamton man, which is the largest gift in the college's history.

The money will go toward students who can't afford to pay for college at SUNY Broome.

Emil "Sonny" Calice left the money to SUNY Broome in his will, even though he never attended the school.

The donation will be used to establish a memorial scholarship fund, which will provide need-based financial aid to SUNY Broome students.

"We know a lot of people who probably can't go to school because they just don't have the money to do that. They have the ability, the intellectual ability, but not the money, so I think he saw a lot of this himself," said Calice's niece, Cheryl Gauzer, of Chenango Forks.

Even though Calice never graduated from college, many of his family members are SUNY Broome graduates.

His family members traveled across the country to attend his dedication ceremony. They said Calice wanted to help families who struggle to afford education.

"If you knew him, you would never know he was a man that had money," Gauzer said. "He lived poor, but he wanted to collect this money and give it as a gift. That was what was important to him."

SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm expects the scholarship fund to be available to students in the next few years.

Scholarships are awarded based on the endowment's interest; at five percent, the gift could pay for at least 100 full scholarships for students.

"It just doesn't get more personally rewarding than that for me as a community college graduate," Drumm said. "There is someone with that kind of largesse to understand the impact a community college has on its community."

Calice served in World War II and worked for 47 years at IBM.

He died of pneumonia in February at the age of 89.

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