Press Releases

PepsiCo Foundation Provides $1 Million to Purchase College to Expand Opportunities for Diverse Students from Community Colleges

Date Released: 6/1/2009

PURCHASE, N.Y. – June 1, 2009 -- The PepsiCo Foundation has awarded a five-year, $1 million grant to the Purchase College Foundation for the Baccalaureate and Beyond Center at Purchase College. The Center, serving students studying the liberal arts, was established by Purchase College to expand educational opportunities for a wider and a more diverse number of students from community colleges. With this funding, students will be able to complete their associate studies and attain baccalaureate degrees.

More than 720 students will participate in the program from community colleges in Westchester, Dutchess, Sullivan and Nassau counties. The emphasis will be on students who are majoring in the social sciences, humanities or are undeclared liberal arts majors. 

"One of the most valuable gifts a person can receive is an education," said Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and chairman of PepsiCo Foundation. "Students from all backgrounds deserve access to educational opportunities that can better prepare them for a promising future."

"We are extremely grateful to the PepsiCo Foundation for their foresight and generosity in supporting this program," said Thomas J. Schwarz, President of Purchase College. "PepsiCo’s leadership and commitment to diversity and increased access to education is nationally recognized. Hundreds of students will realize their dreams as they prepare for careers that require well educated individuals with the skills and flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing requirements in the workforce," said President Schwarz.

The program helps a diverse student population complete their Associate degrees through a seamless transfer component that provides admission to Purchase College for participating students who maintain a required grade point average. Programs under the umbrella of the Baccalaureate and Beyond Center have been developed as a national model.

This new grant will expand upon a previously funded three year program by PepsiCo Foundation at Purchase College beginning in 2005. Of the 155 students who have participated in the programs to date, 85% have completed their Bachelor’s Degrees, compared to 17% nationally. 

This grant complements multi-year grants awarded to the College from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation encouraging students in community colleges to complete their baccalaureate degrees majoring in the natural sciences.

About Purchase College
Purchase College State University of New York is a major institution of higher education encompassing the liberal arts and sciences, professional training in the performing and visual arts, continuing education and liberal studies, along with the Neuberger Museum of Art and The Performing Arts Center.

About The Baccalaureate and Beyond Center
The Baccalaureate and Beyond Center provides a full range of services including high standards and skill building while greatly increasing student motivation. Students have opportunities to complete academic work and strengthen reading and writing capabilities while receiving intensive academic advising and mentoring by faculty and upper division students.  Teamwork, problem-solving and time management are among the skills presented through the program. 

About PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, PepsiCo Foundation is the philanthropic anchor of PepsiCo and responsible for providing charitable contributions to eligible non-profit organizations. The Foundation is committed to developing sustainable partnerships and programs in underserved regions that provide opportunities for improved health, environment and inclusion. In 2008 alone, PepsiCo Foundation contributed $30 million towards programs to help achieve the vision of creating a better tomorrow for the global community.  For more information visit:  http://www.pepsico.com/Purpose/PepsiCo-Foundation.aspx