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Lockheed Martin, O'Brien & Gere announce leadership gifts for new Say Yes STEM Scholarship Fund

March 03, 2012

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

Say YesOn Saturday, March 3, at a reception preceding the second annual "Say Yes Day" at the Carrier Dome, officials from Say Yes to Education—along with representatives from Syracuse University, Syracuse City School District (SCSD), Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse—celebrated commitments from Syracuse-based engineering firms Lockheed Martin and O'Brien & Gere to support a new scholarship fund for Say Yes students who go on to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields at one of the more than 100 Say Yes partner colleges and universities. 

Lockheed Martin has provided a $250,000 gift, and O'Brien & Gere $150,000 to seed Say Yes' new STEM Scholarship Fund, managed by the Central New York Community Foundation. These gifts also build upon both companies' missions to promote STEM studies in urban education. Including the leadership gifts by Lockheed Martin and O’Brien & Gere, as well as other corporate partners, more than $610,000 has been contributed toward this new endowed scholarship fund. 

Both Lockheed Martin and O'Brien & Gere also announced support for Say Yes to Education partners with gifts over and above their scholarship contributions.  

Lockheed Martin Vice President and General Manager Greg Larioni outlined his company's support of Project Lead the Way, a national, nonprofit organization providing STEM education curriculum programs in more than 4,200 middle and high schools nationwide. 

“Lockheed Martin has a deep interest in supporting STEM education activities focused on student achievement, teacher development, and gender and ethnic diversity,” says Larioni. “In addition to establishing the Say Yes STEM Scholarship Fund, we are providing an additional $365,000 to bring Project Lead the Way’s Pathway to Engineering and Gateway to Technology programs to all five city high schools and 11 middle schools, respectively, over the next three years beginning this fall.” 

Jim Fox, CEO and board chairman of O'Brien & Gere, announced that on top of their scholarship gift, another $150,000 will be distributed to community-based organizations that collaborate with Say Yes on a variety of activities and programs. 

"O'Brien & Gere has a long history of supporting organizations that align well with our mission and values," says Fox. "Say Yes fits well with our strategy to align with community priorities, as well as community-based organizations that have significant standing relationships with O'Brien & Gere and our employees." 

Allen J. Naples, co-chairman of the Say Yes scholarship campaign effort and regional president of M&T Bank, announced his company's $100,000 contribution toward the Say Yes Endowment, and thanked the donors who have added their support to the effort. 

“Investing in education is one of the most effective ways to support the community because education improves not only our quality of life in the community, but also our workforce and our local economy,” says Naples. 

M&T Bank is joined by several other local foundations and corporations announcing contributions, including: 

The Say Yes to Education Scholarship Endowment, Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Scholarship Fund and the new Say Yes STEM Scholarship are all managed by the Central New York Community Foundation.  

Since the inception of the Say Yes program in Syracuse, more than $10 million has been contributed to support SCSD student scholarships, including the new STEM Scholarship Fund. This $10 million total is made possible through a $5 million challenge from SRC, Inc. that matches endowment gifts dollar for dollar. The announcement of the SRC match was a highlight of last year’s Say Yes Day at the Dome.   These new gifts bring the Say Yes Campaign nearly halfway to that matching goal. 

About Say Yes to Education Syracuse

Say Yes Day at the Dome annually celebrates the commitment of its supporters to citywide education transformation for more than 20,000 students in the SCSD.

Say Yes is a landmark collaboration that brings the SCSD, SU, Say Yes to Education, Inc., the Syracuse Teachers’ Association, the Syracuse City School District Board of Education, the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the American Institutes for Research and a diverse group of Syracuse area corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations together to organize people, time, money and resources to support city students and their families. The Say Yes model of school and community transformation combines the tuition promise with activities and resources that wrap around the academic work of the school district.  These include after-school and summer camp programs, tutoring, school based family support professionals, medical and mental health clinics, health insurance consultation and free legal clinics.

Syracuse is the first community in the United States committed to ensuring that all public school students can afford and succeed in college. Say Yes operates chapters located in Hartford, Conn., New York City and Philadelphia, but Syracuse is the first Say Yes chapter to embrace an entire city school district, making it the largest school improvement program of its kind in the nation. In December 2011, Say Yes announced that Buffalo, N.Y., would be a Say Yes chapter.

Students who attend 10th, 11th and 12th grade and graduate from a Syracuse City School District High School are eligible to participate in the Say Yes tuition promise. More than 100 higher education institutions partner with Say Yes to Education, including nearly every two- and four-year SUNY and CUNY institution and over 25 private institutions.  

For more information on Say Yes Day or the Say Yes Syracuse program, visit:, or contact Susan Dutch at (315)443-1525; You can also follow Say Yes on Twitter at @SayYesSyracuse, and on Facebook at

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