October 31, 2016

Marian Conway ’01, ’04, Named Chair of the Empire State College Foundation Board

Marian Conway '01, '04 has been named chair of the Empire State College Foundation Board of Directors. Photo/Empire State College
Marian Conway '01, '04, seen here at the 2014 commencement event at Long Island, has been named chair of the Empire State College Foundation Board of Directors. Photo/Empire State College

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Oct. 31, 2016) Alumna Marian Conway ’01, ’04, has been named chair of the Empire State College Foundation Board of Directors.

A member of the SUNY Empire foundation board since June 2012, she most recently served as the board’s secretary.

She was elected by her fellow members during the most recent board meeting held on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the college’s alumni house, 28 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Conway also is a past president of the Empire State College Alumni Student Federation Board of Governors, which governs alumni/student clubs and groups and provides guidance to the college’s Office of Alumni and Student Relation, and is the first person in the college’s history to serve as president of both boards.

A long-time resident of Lindenhurst, N.Y., Conway currently serves as executive director of the New York Community Bank Foundation, formerly known as the Roslyn Savings Foundation, Roslyn, N.Y.

“Serving as chair of the foundation board of my alma mater is an incredible honor and provides me with more opportunities to give back to the school that has had an immeasurable impact on my career and my life,” said Conway. “The foundation has been able to provide a very high level of support for the college’s students, faculty, staff and the communities we serve. Building on our collective success is a big challenge, but one I am looking forward to. By working together, we can achieve even greater levels of support.”

“Marian Conway’s service to SUNY Empire State College has been outstanding and I am grateful she is continuing in a leadership role as president of the college’s foundation board,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. As college president, Hancock serves as a member of the foundation board. “Marian’s broad, deep experience as a successful fund raiser and an active, enthusiastic participant in all aspects of the life of the college will be a great benefit as we work with the foundation board and the greater SUNY Empire community to expand access and degree completion for students and support our faculty’s teaching and scholarship.”

In addition to her service on the foundation and alumni student federation boards, Conway’s support and participation with the college include:

  • becoming a member of the Empire State College Foundation’s President’s Club
  • serving as an adjunct member of the college faculty
  • selection as the 2014 commencement speaker at the college’s Long Island event
  • providing the keynote address at the college’s 2013 Student Academic Conference.

“Marian Conway is among a handful of truly great leaders in New York state in the area of philanthropy and I am delighted she has agreed to serve as our foundation board chair,” said Walter Williams, vice president of the college’s Office of Advancement. As vice president of advancement, Williams also serves as executive director of the foundation board. “Marian’s success in all her endeavors will serve the college well as we work together to achieve our goals of increasing financial support for our students and faculty.”

Conway succeeds Ann S. Turner ’86, who will continue her service to the college as a member of the board.

“I am very grateful to Ann for her outstanding leadership of the foundation board,” said Williams. “The great success of the foundation in support of SUNY Empire’s students faculty and staff is attributable to her work with all of the members of not only the foundation, but also the larger SUNY Empire community.”

About Marian Conway ’01, ‘04

Conway, who held off starting her college career until her youngest child went off to kindergarten, completed her Bachelor of Science in Cultural Studies, with a concentration in writing, in 2001 and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, with a concentration in interdisciplinary studies, in 2004, both with SUNY Empire.

She was recognized with the college’s Distinguished Alumna Award in 2012.

She earned a Doctorate in Public Policy Administration – Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Walden University in 2013.

Conway started at the New York Community Bank Foundation as its program officer in 2002 and was named executive director in 2007, after holding office management positions at both large corporations and small businesses during the previous 15 years.

She is on a number of nonprofit boards, including the:

In 2012, Conway received the Gilbert Tilles Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals for her philanthropic leadership.

About the Empire State College Foundation

During the college’s 2015 fiscal year, the foundation provided $1.75 million to directly benefit students, implement collegewide initiatives, support research and assist with faculty and staff development.

Last year, nearly 3,000 alumni, employees and friends partnered with the college by making a gift in support of the work of the foundation.

Need-based student scholarships comprise the most significant use of foundation funds. During 2014-15, the foundation distributed more than $660,000 to support 678 students living across the state.

Of the nearly 700 students receiving financial support from the foundation last year, 178 of those were at risk of being unable to complete their degrees because of dire financial circumstances and were awarded nearly $200,000.

The foundation also sponsors a no-interest loan program for students, in the form of an advance of $500 per term on a student’s financial aid funds for education expenses. These funds are offered by the foundation for education expenses at no interest, with guaranteed repayment. More than $1 million is loaned to students through this program each year.

In addition to donor-established scholarships, emergency funding and foundation-subsidized loans, a fund of $25,000, which includes matching funds from SUNY, was distributed solely to students from historically underrepresented populations, which further demonstrates the college’s ongoing commitment to expanding access and increasing completion diversity, equity and inclusion.


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications, SUNY Empire State College


518-587-2100, ext. 2918

518-321-7038, cell