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Canisius College will provide as many as 20 full scholarships a year to needy minority students from Buffalo as a result of a $2.1 million grant from the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund of Washington, D.C., college officials announced Wednesday.

The scholarships will include tuition and room and board, as well as a personal computer, participation in a summer leadership camp and enrollment in courses that stress team learning and mastery of the subject material. The first participants will begin their studies next fall.

Most of the scholarships are expected to be granted to African-American students, although Latino, Asian and Native American applicants are also eligible.

"The McGowan grant will enable us to recruit more students of color from the college's own neighborhood and beyond," said the Rev. Vincent M. Cooke, Canisius president. "This is part of our strategic plan to strengthen the college's ties to the local community and to find creative ways to give back to the city that has been our home for 130 years."

To be eligible, students must have high school averages of 85 percent or 3.0, scores of at least 950 on the SAT or 20 on the ACT, and demonstrate financial need.

The McGowan Fund, which is geared to both educational and inner-city issues, is expected to contribute $2.1 million over the next four years to help fund a total of 80 scholarships that will be renewable each year. Another $1.9 million would come from the college or from other donations, said John J. Hurley, a Canisius vice president.

African-American students now make up 4.8 percent of the college's enrollment, he said.

Over four years, scholarship winners would take at least 12 courses designed to stress team learning and mastery of the material. That aspect of the program will be led by English professors E. Roger Stephenson and Kenneth Sroka.

"The team approach, when coupled with our on-campus living experience and unique leadership training component, will enable Canisius to produce a new generation of leaders for our city," Cooke said.

"This is exactly the type of cooperative effort that will make our city strong," said Mayor Anthony M. Masiello, a Canisius graduate.

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