New Gift Expands Cynthia & Stuart Bretschneider Endowed Scholarship Fund

Stuart Bretschneider YALI2016Stuart Bretschneider, professor emeritus of public administration and international affairs at the Maxwell School, has made a generous new contribution of $75,000 to the Cynthia & Stuart Bretschneider Fund, adding to his establishing gifts totaling $215,000. The fund – now valued at over $300,000 – was created in 2013 to honor Stuart’s late wife, Cynthia Bretschneider, and to provide financial support to master of public administration (MPA) students with preference to those interested in pursuing careers in education or working with children with disabilities. The fund is a long-term project of Stuart, who hopes to make additional contributions to the grant until a full scholarship can be generated each year for a student.

“Stuart’s ongoing commitment to philanthropy and education is both emblematic of the Maxwell spirit of citizenship and public service, and a fitting tribute to a woman who dedicated her career to improving the lives of students with disabilities,” says Dean David M. Van Slyke.

Cynthia Bretschneider was a licensed physical therapist who worked for 20 years with New York’s BOCES program in Onondaga and Madison counties, providing services to school children with physical disabilities; she was extremely dedicated to her students throughout her career. Stuart has been a part of the Maxwell community for more than 33 years. As a full-time faculty member at Maxwell, he was Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence and served for five years as associate dean and chair of the PAIA department. To this day, he returns to Syracuse from his home in Arizona every summer to lead the Mandela Washington Fellows Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) program at Maxwell, a six-week public administration training institute.

The 2016-17 recipient of the Cynthia & Stuart Bretschneider scholarship is Emily LoBello, a student in the MPA program who received her BA in sociology from St. Bonaventure University. After graduation, LoBello worked as a preschool teacher and then for a nonprofit, assisting those with developmental disabilities. Her desire to help vulnerable populations is driven by the experience of having grown up with a younger brother with special needs. Both of LoBello’s parents are teachers and the Bretschneider grant helped make the Maxwell School a possibility for her. LoBello looks forward to working for the nonprofit sector after she receives her degree.

Bretschneider says he was especially excited to be the first person to contribute a major cash gift to the School under the leadership of Dean Van Slyke, who was appointed to the position in July.  Dean Van Slyke was a faculty member while Bretschneider was chair of the PAIA department.

Bretschneider holds high regard for Dean Van Slyke, citing his achievements in increasing Maxwell’s visibility and reputation by bringing in speakers from the National Academy of Public Administration and other federal government agencies. “David has been a very successful academic, a good scholar, an outstanding teacher, and has done a huge amount of service for the Maxwell School.” 

Alumni interested in directing contributions to the Cynthia & Stuart Bretschneider Fund should contact Linda Birnbaum at