Campus & Community

STEAM initiative receives $100,000 donation

Meyer and Bernice Kesner

The Palm Beach State College Foundation received a $100,000 donation from the Meyer and Bernice Kesner Foundation to support the College’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) initiative.

The Meyer and Bernice Kesner Foundation scholarship, which was given in honor of the late Palm Beach Gardens couple, will be a five-year scholarship open to students pursuing STEM careers.

Meyer taught continuing education classes in beginning level management at the College in 1980. He had a degree in management from Rutgers University. However, his passion was the sciences.

The couple, who had no children, entrusted their niece, Lynn Grossman, and nephews, Neil and Hal Grossman, with money to donate to a STEM educational program of their choice after they passed away. Knowing their uncle’s connection to PBSC, they knew it would be the right place for the gift, which comes on the heels of the initiative’s annual fundraising luncheon featuring Dr. Guy Harvey on Feb. 7 at the Kravis Center for Performing Arts Cohen Pavilion.

“My aunt and uncle would be so excited about these scholarships,” said Hal.  “Meyer always loved the College and spoke very highly of his students. Both he and Bernice had a desire to give back to the community, and my sister and brother and I are happy to help fulfill their desires.”

Meyer, who died in 2007 at the age of 92, served as vice president of the Eastpointe Country Club, which contributed annually to various medical causes.

In addition to his teaching and community service, Meyer served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S Army and Air Force for 28 years. One of his positions in the Air Force was serving as director of personnel plans for a major command, where he was responsible for developing plans and program utilization, as well as the motivating and educating approximately 30,000 people. He was also a member of the Jewish War Veterans.

Bernice was also involved with several charities and served on many local election boards. The two enjoyed playing golf together until their 70s.

Bernice, who was a homemaker, was married to Meyer for 66 years before his death. She died in 2015 at age 95.

The STEAM initiative, which began in 2013, is a multi-year initiative to impact the projected shortage of local, skilled professionals in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) fields.

For more information on how to apply for Foundation scholarships, please visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/foundation/student-scholarships.aspx.

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