The Robert J. Stranksy Foundation, guided by the leadership of foundation trustee Michael C. Trimboli ’72, has established a $1 million fund that will enable students to engage in original scientific research in partnership with faculty members. The fund will provide each recipient both with scholarship support and with additional fellowship funding during one summer and one academic year to conduct scholarly research under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
The fund topples financial barriers for aspiring students by giving them the freedom to dedicate themselves to research for a sizeable period of time. By immersing themselves in high-level inquiry, accompanying professors to professional meetings and occasionally co-authoring papers, students gain valuable experience that helps them excel in graduate school or scientific careers. “In today’s academic environment, this kind of experience is absolutely essential—both to the students’ future success, and to the College’s ability to build on its excellent reputation in the sciences,” says Timothy R. Austin, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “It is the natural extension of the challenging academic environment that already exists at Holy Cross, which gives students access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, emphasizes original thinking and provides mentoring support from gifted and committed faculty.”
The nature of the gift also meshes well with the Stransky Foundation’s purpose. “Over the years, the Foundation has really zeroed in on education and the sciences, particularly as they relate to health and medicine, so this was a great fit,” Trimboli says. “We know that the rigors of scientific research at Holy Cross will give students a leg up when they get to graduate school and begin to compete in the research arena.”
Robert Stranksy, the third-generation owner of a Buffalo, N.Y.-based hardware store, established the Foundation in 1987. After Stransky’s death in 1995, Trimboli and a fellow trustee assumed responsibility for continuing the Foundation’s work. Over the years, wise investment strategies have grown the Foundation’s resources considerably and expanded the support it provides to a range of nonprofit organizations. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recently recognized Trimboli for his contributions to the Emmy award-winning program “Reading Rainbow” produced by WNED-TV in Buffalo.
At Holy Cross, the Foundation has made a series of gifts since the early 1990s supporting scholarships and fellowships, and this latest gift creates the $1 million fund into which existing scholarships and fellowships will be folded. “Holy Cross has been a superb steward of the Stransky Grant funds,” adds Trimboli, who is a principal partner in Pumpkin Ridge Associates, an Oregon- and Arizona-based consulting firm specializing in issues relating to the development and construction of golf courses and sports management.