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The John R. Oishei Foundation has awarded $250,000 to support efforts to create a strategic alliance between St. Bonaventure University and Hilbert College.

“We found the proposal from presidents [Sister Margaret] Carney and [Cynthia] Zane to articulate a vision that is exactly what Western New York needs in the realm of higher education: more collaboration, a greater sense of entrepreneurship and better, more affordable opportunities for students,” said Oishei Foundation president Robert Gioia.

St. Bonaventure has offered graduate programs at Hilbert on weekends for the past two decades. In October, the two Franciscan schools announced they would do a feasibility study to see if they can build upon their partnership. Their trustees voted earlier this month to extend the study into a second phase.