The Blacksberg Family Endowed Fund, a helping hand with a difference. Created by Peter A. and Michele Blacksberg in 2013, the fund is invested to provide professional growth and an annual loan benefit to RIT students. The loan fund is available to students in Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, and is designed to help them succeed at their passion by understanding the business mechanics of a creative career.
Created with a gift from Peter A. Blacksberg, a 1975 School of Photography alumnus and his wife Michele, the fund will make very low interest loans of up to $1,000 to help students cover program-related costs, such as special equipment, materials or travel needed for their studies.
“We made the business course a requirement based on my own life experience," said Blacksberg. "As a photography student, I had no interest in business courses. I thought I could figure out for myself how to budget, plan and negotiate my career." Some 15 years later, he took on a role that required him to attain an MBA, and “in the midst of that program, I was struck by the number of opportunities I had lost for lack of even the basic vocabulary and application of business concepts. I realized how empowering basic business tools could be - especially for the creative person."
“This loan program is special because students will be helping other students succeed.” Blacksberg said. As loans are repaid, money becomes immediately available for use by other students rather than deposited to the endowment. Blacksberg added, "It’s about paying forward and being part of the larger RIT alumni community.”
Benefits of the loan program
1. Providing ready cash for equipment, projects or other school-related costs at a very low interest
2. Introducing the borrower to the ‘business of business’ by requiring taking of at least one business course.
3. Becoming a contributing RIT community member by ‘paying forward’ – that is repaying the loan to enable other students to benefit.
1. Must be currently enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate degree program within the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS)
2. Must have completed 45 semester credits
3. Must complete at least one (1) or more 3-credit hour business courses
4. Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident and eligible for federal student financial aid
For more information please contact the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences Deans office at 585-475-2733