Bob McCann, UBS Americas Chairman, Receives 2018 Champion of College Access Award

September 27, 2018

By Kelly Mae Ross, Communications Manager

Bob McCann, Chairman of UBS Americas, received the 2018 Bob Craves Champion of College Access Award yesterday at the National College Access Network's 23rd annual national conference in Pittsburgh.

NCAN's annual Bob Craves Champion of College Access Award honors individuals, organizations, or corporations that have made remarkable, long-term contributions to increasing college access and success for underrepresented students. Mr. Craves was a founding officer of Costco, co-founder of the College Success Foundation, and a longtime advocate for students who have been historically underserved in higher education in Washington State and Washington, D.C.

Marlene Ibsen, president of the NCAN board of directors and president and CEO of the Travelers Foundation, presented the award to Mr. McCann.

"I would really like to thank all of you for this incredible honor, it's not anything that I expected to ever receive in my life," Mr. McCann told conference attendees after accepting the award. 

A Pittsburgh native, a first-generation college graduate of Bethany College (only 50 miles from Pittsburgh), and a committed philanthropist in both his professional and personal life, Mr. McCann is known for his longtime support of several charitable organizations focused on expanding educational opportunities. He was the driving force behind the UBS NextGen Leaders initiative, a $10 million, five-year commitment to invest in college access and success for students who are the first in their families to go to college. 

"Through the initiative, we work closely with organizations across the country to reinforce and advance our strong belief that earning a bachelor's degree is still the most reliable path a first-generation, lower-income student can take to open doors of intergenerational wealth creation and social and economic mobility," Mr. McCann said.

He highlighted the initiative's UBS-SEO College Scholars program, an intensive college success program supporting 125 African American and Hispanic/Latino young men to persist to graduation at competitive higher education institutions. Students in the program receive individualized advising, international experience, leadership development, and internship and career preparation.


"We're really proud of these young people," said Mr. McCann. "Eighty percent of them are on track to graduate this May."


Mr. McCann also highlighted the TalentED Project, an online platform that helps college access professionals and the first-generation, lower-income students they serve find good-fit colleges and universities. The project was a collaboration between UBS NextGen Leaders and the Tennessee College Access and Success Network, an NCAN member organization.

 

In closing, Mr. McCann expressed gratitude to the college access and success providers in attendance: "If you don't remember anything else that I said today, I want you to remember this, if you could. You’re special people. You do important work. Keep doing it – it matters."

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