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Alumnus’s undergraduate scholarship gift serves as Mother’s Day honor

April 15, 2020

A bequest arrangement made by Maxwell School alumnus Jonathan R. Hancock ’95 MA (Geog) will honor his mother while providing scholarship assistance to undergraduates in select Maxwell disciplines, who demonstrate an interest in bettering the Syracuse and Central New York region. The bequest commitment, originally formalized on Mother’s Day 2019, is being announced to highlight this year’s occasion of that holiday.

The Ruth Pass Hancock Scholarship, when fully funded, will benefit undergraduates majoring in geography, political science, policy studies, or citizenship and civic engagement at the Maxwell School. Preference will be given to students hailing from the Syracuse metropolitan area, with second preference given to students from other parts of Central New York.

It honors Hancock’s mother, Ruth Pass Hancock, a 97-year-old resident of Cazenovia, New York, and member of the well-known Pass family, which is associated with the long-prominent area business Syracuse China. (The company was founded by Ruth Pass Hancock’s grandfather.) Ruth Pass Hancock is a life-long resident of the Syracuse area who, with her late husband, Court of Appeals Judge Stewart F. Hancock Jr., raised six children while remaining active in numerous volunteer groups and community organizations. 

The donor, Jon Hancock, who also holds a 1998 MS in applied statistics from Syracuse University, is a senior software engineer with Esri, a global leader in GIS technologies providing mapping and spatial analytics software, based in Redlands, California. Mr. Hancock earned, as well, a BA in art, computer science, and mathematics from Williams College, in 1983.

Through the University’s Invest Syracuse scholarship initiative, Hancock’s bequest commitment is being celebrated, for five years, with a current undergraduate scholarship, with preference given to undergraduates in Maxwell-based programs. Syracuse University’s first Ruth Pass Hancock Invest Syracuse Scholar, named earlier this academic year, is Taylor Doll, a sophomore from Middlesex, New Jersey, who is majoring in policy studies at the Maxwell School.


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