Wreath with white roses, the names of victims of the 5.14 massacre, and an orange ribbon that says Buffalo State Remembers

Buffalo State Creates 5.14 Memorial Scholarship for Students from East Side Neighborhood


The Buffalo State University Foundation has established a 5.14 Memorial Scholarship designed to cover the cost of books and other educational supplies for Buffalo State students who hail from Buffalo’s 14208 zip code. This zip code is where 10 Black people were shot to death by an avowed white supremacist at Tops Market on May 14, 2022.

“This scholarship initiative aims to honor the memories of those who lost their lives in the racially motivated attack,” said Eunice Lewin, who serves on the SUNY Board of Trustees. “By providing book scholarships, we strive to support the education of students from the affected community and create a lasting tribute to those who were tragically taken from us.”

The scholarships will be available to both first-time undergraduate and graduate students from the 14208 zip code starting in fall 2023. The scholarship will automatically be applied to students’ financial aid awards; they will not need to apply, noted James Finnerty, vice president for institutional advancement at Buffalo State.

“We want to make the process as easy as possible for students,” Finnerty said.

Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner said, “We are still heartbroken over the senseless and racially motivated violence that took the lives of 10 innocent individuals last year. This scholarship provides one way to support students from the East Side throughout their academic journey at Buffalo State.”

Between 10 and 20 students from the 14208 zip code are expected to enroll at Buffalo State in fall 2023.

“The Buffalo State Foundation is committed to fostering a supportive environment for all students, and this scholarship program reflects our dedication to making higher education accessible for everyone during this time of healing,” said Nicholas Sinatra, president of the Buffalo State Foundation Board of Directors. “I’m proud that the foundation board has guaranteed initial funding and identified the scholarship as a fundraising priority going forward.”

Students will have the opportunity to renew the scholarship through civic engagement to the East Buffalo community or in social justice projects dedicating 10 hours per semester, allowing them to give back and create a positive influence within the community.

“We sincerely hope that the 5.14 Memorial Scholarship will not only contribute to the educational advancement of students from the affected community,” Conway-Turner said, “but also bring some measure of comfort to the families and friends of those who were lost or injured in this tragic event.”

Photo by Ken Giangreco, Creative Services, Marketing and Communications Office.