As a scholar of women’s history and a woman leader, I have spent most of my career learning from the past and advocating for future generations of women. It brings me great personal satisfaction, therefore, that the institution I call HOME will dedicate the Michelle Cuozzo Borisenok ’80 House, home of the College’s new Women’s Leadership Institute and the senior cohort of BOLD Women’s Leadership Network Scholars. Saint Rose is an institution of higher education founded by women for women in 1920. Although we are a coeducational institution today, 67% of our students are female, and we are poised to play a significant role in global efforts to develop women leaders, while encouraging men to work as our allies.
The renovation of this house was made possible by a generous $1.2 million gift by Michelle Cuozzo Borisenok, a 1980 graduate of the College and Saint Rose trustee, and her husband, Walt. Michelle has blazed her own trails as a woman entrepreneur, and she has beautifully described the meaning of her gift by saying, “By providing the ability to interact with other women as mentors, the Women’s Leadership Institute will give our students the confidence to move forward with their passions and help them understand that they can achieve anything that they set their mind to do.”
This spirit of hopefulness was present as we gathered to celebrate the Class of 1969 at our recent HOME.COMING & Family Weekend. Reflecting on the 50 years since their graduation, they recalled how the late 1960s was an era when our nation was grappling with difficult issues. Saint Rose provided an education that enabled them to navigate change, while launching successful lives as women, professionals, and community members.
Today’s students are also passionate about their country, their professional aspirations, and social justice. They are remarkable women and men—from 39 states, and 66 countries. After spending time with them this Fall Semester, I can assure you that they appreciate the education we provide, and are committed to promoting the values of our founders in the world.