The Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize®

The Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize® was first established in 2002 at SUNY Buffalo Law School by Vikki Pryor in memory of her grandmother, Marie Nesbitt. The Change Create Transform Foundation provides ongoing support to foster relationships through a vibrant network of Academic Partnerships and Promise Prize® Scholars to recognize and reward academic excellence and encourage leadership, scholarship, service and philanthropy.

Promise Prize® Scholar Objectives –

  • Promote learning and scholarship through educational support of new leaders who will actively participate in and serve their communities.
  • Recognize an extraordinary woman, symbolic of others like her, by creating a living tribute to how they live their lives, the principles for which they stand, and why the work of developing the next generation must go on.

Academic Partners & Scholar Programs

  • Bronx Community College
    Grinnell College
    Montclair State University

    Rutgers University – Newark
    Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
  • University at Buffalo (SUNY) School of Law School
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    University of Iowa
    University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis
135 Promise Prize Scholarships granted through June 2022

About Marie Nesbitt

marie-nesbitMarie Nesbitt 1961

Marie Nesbitt was born on August 16, 1917, in Clearwater, Florida and raised in South Carolina. A great granddaughter of slaves, her education stopped at the 3rd grade. At the tender age of 14 she became a single mother, and as a young woman traveled to find work in Philadelphia and finally Chicago. She experienced the Great Depression, Jim Crow, World War II, and the Civil Rights Movement. A field worker, domestic, welder and shipping clerk, she used her precious spare time as an avid reader, writer, photographer, chef, homemaker, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her church and family were central to her life and she cared for and raised many relatives and others who passed through her home. An activist, feminist, humanitarian, and talented public speaker, Marie Nesbitt was a inspiration to family and friends. She taught everyone she touched to reach for the starts, do their best, trust in God, stand up for their beliefs, and most of all, to never give up.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32