Campus Communications

$1 Million Gift Gives Marist Students Enhanced Access to Critical Financial Literacy Skills

Chrissie Williams, Director of Advancement Communications

April 4, 2024 – Marist College announced it has received a generous $1 million gift from longtime Marist supporter W. Jason Hancock to enable a wide range of financial literacy initiatives to equip students with important skills to help them become savvy money managers and build brighter financial futures.

This gift establishes the W. Jason Hancock Financial Literacy Fund to help students develop essential personal financial skills such as budgeting, saving, investing, building credit, and managing debt.

"I am deeply grateful to Jason for this visionary gift," said President Kevin Weinman. “Jason’s gift resonates with me on many levels, especially as someone who spent years after graduation struggling to take control of his financial situation. I strongly believe, as does Jason, that every student should leave Marist with the ability to manage their finances not just responsibly, but intentionally and strategically.”

The W. Jason Hancock Financial Literacy Fund will enable the appointment of a faculty Director of Financial Literacy at Marist, John Finnigan, Senior Professional Lecturer of Finance and Economics, to oversee these programs, including a brand new three-credit personal finance course available to all Marist students. Furthermore, the Director will provide thought leadership on other aspects of financial literacy curriculum at Marist and oversee financial literacy-themed activities and programming. 

For Jason, devotion to education and the belief that financial literacy is a critical life skill helped lay the path for this extraordinary gift and the subsequent planned programming at Marist. 

“I am proud to support the College in its efforts to provide students with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed,” said the now-retired IBM software manager. “My hope is that this gift plays a critical role in educating students in key areas of personal finance, thereby fostering a lifelong sense of security.”

Image of Hancock Center.

The Hancock family legacy at Marist is significant. Both Jason and his late wife, Ellen Hancock, have been steadfast supporters of the College for decades. Ellen, a pioneering technology executive and philanthropist, was one of the most dedicated and influential members of the College's Board of Trustees, with a tenure of 34 years, including more than seven years as chair of the board. She generously provided the lead gift for the Hancock Center, one of the anchors of the Marist campus, which houses the School of Computer Science and Mathematics and a variety of other key offices such as the Marist Institute for Public Opinion (the “Marist Poll”), Marist-IBM Joint Study, Marist International Programs, Institute for Data Center Professionals, Enterprise Computing Research Laboratory, Office of Academic Affairs, and many others.

The combined contributions of Ellen and Jason Hancock will serve Marist and its mission well into the future as the College continues to provide a personalized education where students tailor their living and learning experiences to their passions, preparing them for lifelong success.

According to William Lamb, Dean of the School of Management, Jason Hancock’s latest gift will add a new, distinctive element to the Marist experience. Its focus on financial literacy will have a direct impact on students' long-term quality of life by helping them to make more informed decisions that can result in greater financial stability.

“Thanks to this fund, we will develop programs that can empower Marist students to take control of their finances and better navigate challenges and opportunities that will arise throughout their lives,” he said.  “And our students will not only learn these concepts from our faculty—they will learn them from industry experts, and other students.”

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