For Immediate Release — January 10, 2005


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516



GENESEO, N.Y. — The State University of New York at Geneseo has announced the establishment of The Dr. Pamela York Klainer Center for Women and Business in the college’s Jones School of Business.

The center will offer courses to prepare undergraduates to become leaders and help them better understand gender issues in the business world, provide the setting for students and faculty to conduct research about women and men in the workplace, and serve as a resource for the greater Rochester community by offering conferences and other events.

The center is made possible by a generous gift from Klainer, a Rochester resident who received her master’s degree in elementary education from Geneseo in 1971. Klainer — the founder of Power and Money, LLC and author of "How Much is Enough?" — donated $125,000 to Geneseo. Of that, $100,000 will go toward establishing the center, and $25,000 is earmarked as prize money for a student marketing plan competition.

The center’s mission is threefold: to better prepare Geneseo students to be dynamic leaders and citizens through a better understanding of gender issues; to serve as a resource for the Rochester and Livingston County communities; and to earn a national reputation for research on issues related to gender and the workplace.

"The students of Geneseo are going into a highly competitive world, and I want them to explore the world of competition here while they have adult guidance," said Klainer. "You don’t get there by elbowing everybody else."

The center is slated to open in the spring in time for its first annual conference. The marketing competition will take place in the spring semester, and winners will be announced at the conference.

The competition is open to students who have taken specific business and communication courses. The top three student teams, along with a faculty mentor on each team, will receive cash prizes of $12,000, $8,000 and $5,000.

With more than half its students female, SUNY Geneseo is the ideal site for such a center, said Mary Ellen Zuckerman, dean of the Jones School of Business.

"The whole idea is to help us prepare our students the best we can for the workplace," said Zuckerman. "We really want a place where some of these business people can come in and say, ‘This is what happens.’ We want them to be able to have what we call ‘professional confidence.’"

"It’s really unique in that it’s focused on undergraduates. It’s more common for that type of center to be an MBA level or executive education," said Zuckerman. "Our goal and Pam’s vision is much more focused on helping our undergraduate students."

The center’s activities will include: a library and resources center; for-credit courses open to men and woman and taught by faculty and community members with possible topics ranging from gender and leadership, gender and creativity, gender and negotiations, issues facing ethnic minorities and women in the workplace, money and power and entrepreneurship; non-credit extracurricular studies offered on such topics as mentoring, career portfolio development, tools for success in supervisory and managerial positions, networking and business etiquette; outside speakers from the business community; mentoring; faculty/student research on gender issues in the workplace; and an annual workshop/conference on woman and business.

The Jones School of Business has put together internal and external advisory boards for the center and has conducted focus groups with Geneseo students to determine the services and programming in which they are interested.

The college is renovating space in Fraser Hall to transform it into the center — a warm and inviting place where students can use resources, participate in activities, receive mentoring and attend lectures. The center is open to students from all majors.

In addition, one of the goals is to instill in students the importance of giving back to the community, something in which Klainer strongly believes. One student volunteer program in the works at the center is to assist low-income individuals in Livingston County with financial planning, said Zuckerman. Students will learn how to apply their organizational skills by assisting people with this much-needed service.

Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl said Klainer is a "thoughtful and creative philanthropist" who values educating the whole human being.

"What Pam does, I think, is bring together money and meaning," said Dahl, noting the college is in the beginning phase of this exciting project.

Klainer said she wants students to realize money is a source of power, but that it creates choice. Money is an essential component to being able to enact social change, she said.

Klainer’s husband, Jerry, died suddenly in April 2002. Although she worried at first how she would follow through on their financial pledges that year, Klainer reached for the value of a legacy that she and her husband shared. That legacy, she says, is putting their money to work creating good things now.

"Part of the joy for me is to use part of the success that we’ve had to make things better for others," said Klainer.

"Young people today are faced with a lot of difficult issues and tradeoffs," she said. "We live in a world where there are many opportunities open to young men and women."

Preparing young people while they are in college is ideal, and adults must lead by example, she said.

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