Breona Jones-Rice ’19 started observing open heart and thoracic surgeries when she was still a high school student in Washington, D.C. Her passionate interest in biotechnology—and strong support from the Ruth and Herbert Meyer Scholarship—opened a door to Syracuse University, the school of her dreams.
As a biotechnology major, she’s eager to conduct hands-on research and eventually pursue a pharmacology degree, so she can one day help develop new and lifesaving drugs. And, as the first in her family to attend college, she aspires to become “one of the many who gives back to those who invested in her.”
Where I’m from…
I was born and raised in the nation’s capital—Riggs Park of Washington, D.C., to be exact. It’s a middle-class neighborhood that’s been home to my family for a very long time. The neighborhood is very tight-knit. Everyone is expected to be involved in some type of activity at the local recreation center.
What I do besides study…
I like to walk around campus or sit on the stairs of Carnegie while reading or listening to music. I also enjoy playing softball and going out to the batting cages to practice.
What I love most about SU…
I love how much school pride there is and how much influence the students have on campus. People come from all over the world to attend Syracuse, which makes the campus very diverse. But the school pride brings everyone together. Everyone bleeds orange and, no matter what you’re going through, there’s always someone nearby to offer a helping hand.
What I plan to do with my SU degree…
After receiving my bachelor’s degree in biotechnology, I plan to pursue my PharmD degree and work with a pharmaceutical firm, researching and developing drugs.
What my scholarship means to me…
It means the world to me, and I truly would not be in the position that I am if it was not for the generosity of my donor. I consider myself very lucky and I will continue to do everything in my power to maintain it.
What I would say to someone thinking about giving…
Do it! Do not underestimate the impact that you will have. Any amount you give will help another student’s dreams come true.
A Lifelong Philanthropist Committed to Student Achievement
Since 1976, recipients of the Ruth and Herbert Meyer Scholarship have benefited both financially and personally from the thoughtfulness of a very strong educational advocate and benefactor.
Ruth Meyer long upheld the belief that education makes a difference in a person’s life and often took the time to get to know her scholarship recipients during casual lunches. “She thought of them as her kids,” said Arthur Fritz,’62, a former Syracuse University administrator. “As she saw how her scholarship was helping others, and as she got to know these young people, she became more committed to the scholarship fund.”
That commitment began shortly after leaving Syracuse University. After marrying fellow classmate and SU alumnus Herbert Meyer ’24, the couple moved to New York City. There, he launched a successful advertising career and Ruth began dedicating her time to philanthropy.
Ruth Meyer made significant contributions to her alma mater, as well as several other educational institutions. In 1975, she established the Ruth and Herbert Meyer Scholarship Fund. Upon her death at the age of 93, she bequeathed $12 million to the University—half of which was designated for scholarship support.
Today, the Meyer scholarship provides full tuition, renewable for three years, for promising Syracuse University students, and ranks among the largest individually financed scholarships at SU.
Peter Thomas ’77, one of the first Meyer Scholars, said Ruth Meyer “was interested in what we were doing and what kind of people we were. That relationship kept me aware that there were people who had a vested interest in the development and improvement of the University.”