Funding a Pathway

One of Central New York’s most prominent families has come forward to help our community once again. Candace and John Marsellus have created an award for Onondaga Community College graduates who are continuing their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). Each year two OCC graduates will receive a generous stipend from the Marsellus Family OCC to ESF Fund to support their educational expenses. “We realize the value of a strong education which we were fortunate to experience. We have a desire to help others have similar opportunities,” said Candace and John Marsellus.

Asante Holder (left) and John Spencer (right) are 2014 Marsellus Family OCC to ESF Award recipients.
Asante Holder (left) and John Spencer (right) are 2014 Marsellus Family OCC to ESF Award recipients.

2014 graduates Asante Holder and John Spencer were thrilled to benefit from the Marsellus family’s generosity this past spring. Holder is a Syracuse native who came to OCC from Bishop Ludden High School. He earned a degree in Mathematics and Science. Holder is majoring in Environmental Engineering at SUNY-ESF. “I’m honored to be chosen for this stipend,” said Holder. “The money will be very useful as I pursue my degree. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Marsellus!”

Spencer is a graduate of Mexico High School. He also majored in Mathematics and Science at OCC, and is majoring in Bioprocess Engineering at SUNY-ESF. His goal is to acquire a doctorate and perform his own research in bio-fuels. “Thank you very much Mr. and Mrs. Marsellus for making this award possible,” said Spencer. “It will help me greatly as I pay for my education. I will continue to work hard so I can achieve my goals and begin my research as soon as possible.”

The Marsellus family has a long history of supporting the Central New York community. Since establishing their first named scholarship at Onondaga Community College in 2002, their passion for helping students at Onondaga has continued through the Marsellus Family Community Scholars Scholarship established in 2011, and most recently, the Marsellus Family OCC to ESF fund. “Five generations of our families have lived and worked in Onondaga County. We are committed to helping the hard-working students in our community achieve their goals. Scholarships for education can be life-changing. It can help financially disadvantaged students focus less on financial concerns and more on their higher education.”

The Marsellus family’s decision to assist OCC graduates pursuing bachelor’s degrees is in response to the ongoing success they have seen at the College, and they are proud to support OCC’s continued focus on partnerships with four-year institutions. “The growth in enrollment, faculty and facilities at OCC during the past 20 years is impressive. A new level of academic excellence has been achieved. The collective accomplishments of students, faculty, administration and Onondaga County leadership are worthy of our support,” said Candace and John Marsellus.