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Bills Hall of Famer Thomas offering new ECC scholarships

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas wants to ease the burden of college costs for some students. Thomas appeared Tuesday morning with his wife Patti Thomas and SUNY ECC president Dan Hocoy on the downtown campus, announcing a new collaboration to provide scholarships for disadvantage students.

“I know there is a lot of burden out there with a lot of students saying ‘how am I going to pay this tuition’, how am I going to pay for these books’ – but now you don’t have to worry about that because we have really stepped up the ante to really support these kids,” Thomas stated.  Thomas is expanding his Thurman Thomas Family Foundation to provide annual scholarships for three African-American students at ECC.

“And it gives an opportunity for that kid to not have to worry about the money and where it is coming from, where you cannot just study and graduate and move on to bigger and better things,” remarked Thomas.

Thomas said he wants to make sure students can concentrate on their grades and graduating, instead of stressing about high college costs.                       

Hocoy said The Thurman Thomas Foundation will now provide three full scholarships annually to African American students who might not otherwise have the resources to complete their SUNY Erie education.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
SUNY ECC president Dan Hocoy with Thurman Thomas & his wife, Patti.

“As a graduate of student Erie, Thurman has been a long supporter of the college and he has exemplified the best values of the college in his perseverance, his excellence and his generosity, so we are incredibly grateful for the support that Thurman and Patti Thomas are providing,” Hocoy said.

The scholarships would cover all college costs for eligible students. 

“The gift of education – so there is no worries – these kids can just worry about studying and getting good grades,” said Patti Thomas.

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