Gift honoring Alissa Czisny to benefit business students

Bowling Green, O.—Olympic hopeful and reigning U.S. women’s figure skating champion Alissa Czisny graduated with honors from Bowling Green State University in 2009. Now, a gift in her name will fund scholarships for business students interested in entrepreneurship.

BGSU announced today that the Pioneer Fund has donated $500,000 to the University to endow the Alissa Czisny Entrepreneur Scholarship.

“BGSU has been such an important part of my life and career,” Czisny said. “I am very humbled and excited to have this scholarship fund named in my honor.”

The skater added that she is pleased that the funding will assist business students. “Entrepreneurship plays such a vital role in all aspects of our society today,” Czisny said. “It’s gratifying that the scholarship will help launch the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”

Czisny, 22, graduated from BGSU in May with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. She won the women’s figure skating crown in January 2009 at the U.S. championships in Cleveland. She is competing this week in the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wa., to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. The Olympics begin next month in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“We’re all extremely proud of Alissa for what she has accomplished both on the ice and in the classroom,” said BGSU President Carol Cartwright. “She’s an outstanding representative of the University.”

According to Dr. Rodney Rogers, dean of BGSU’s College of Business Administration, the scholarship funds will be available both to current students and incoming freshmen.

“This will help us continue to attract the best and brightest,” Rogers said. “It is a wonderful acknowledgement of the quality of our business and entrepreneurial programs and provides much-needed assistance for our students.”

Helen Myers McLoraine, the late Denver businesswoman and philanthropist, established the Pioneer Fund. McLoraine, a supporter of amateur skating and a strong advocate for education, loved all things related to skating and ice.

“Scholarships are a vital part of keeping a BGSU education affordable,” said Marcia Sloan Latta, interim vice president for University advancement. “We appreciate the continued support of the Pioneer Fund and a young alumna like Alissa demonstrating the importance of giving back to the University.”

In December, BGSU announced that figure skater Scott Hamilton and the Pioneer Fund had made a $500,000 contribution to create the Scott Hamilton Hockey Scholarship.

Czisny has performed well heading into this year’s championships, winning Germany’s Nebelhorn Trophy, placing fourth at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, and winning the silver medal at Skate Canada.

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(Posted January 21, 2010 )