To provide a permanent funding source to support fellowships, research and training for New York State women.
Changes in our society are presenting more opportunities for women to take important leadership roles in industry, government and world affairs. However, in order to qualify for such opportunities, a master's or doctorate degree is now mandatory in many fields. While the number of women in graduate-study has increased dramatically, the cost of graduate education has also increased, faster than inflation.
In order to help meet the needs of NYS women in graduate study, the NY Grace LeGendre Endowment Fund, Inc. (GLEF) was chartered in NYS in 1986 and approved as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in 1987. The GLEF is just the latest development by NYS professional and business women in a long history of support for women’s education that goes back to 1934.
A twenty-member Board of Directors including representatives of NYS Women Inc., oversees the maintenance and administration of the Fund’s investments and the interest income generated is made available for the awarding of fellowships. The Board meets regularly and determines what funds are available, the number of awards to be made and the amount allocated to each award based on the performance of the investment portfolio.
From 1989 through 2021, the Fund has awarded over $186,000 in fellowships to 162 NYS women enrolled in graduate study. These women, one hundred eight working toward a Master’s and fifty five working toward a Doctorate, have been enrolled in fifty-seven institutions of higher learning across New York State and in fifty-five diverse fields of study.
In the fall of each year, letters are sent to accredited colleges and universities in New York State having graduate school programs announcing the availability of the NY Grace Le Gendre Endowment Fund Inc. Fellowships for the coming year.
Starting In 2004, the Fund began awarding Special Grants to organizations in order to sponsor educational or research opportunities which would further the advancement of working women. Since the inception of that program, fourteen Special Grants have been awarded.