HAMBURG, N.Y. – Hilbert College was awarded a $500,000 grant from The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. This transformational grant, which is the largest foundation grant in Hilbert’s history, will be used to create the Franciscan Advocacy & Resource Center at Hilbert.   This new Center will be designed to help students overcome life issues and support and strengthen their ability to transition and thrive in their educational setting and beyond.

“New York’s poorest and most vulnerable communities are facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. Honoring the legacy of Mother Cabrini, we intend these grants to have a significant impact in ameliorating food insecurity, helping providers as they deliver care and services in this challenging environment, offering mental health services, and sustaining other essential resources. We plan to continue to monitor the crisis, and we will continue to adjust our response as needs arise,” said Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, Chief Executive Officer of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.

“This is a very significant day for Hilbert College,” Hilbert President Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D. said. “I am extremely grateful to The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for this record-setting grant.  The creation of this new Franciscan Advocacy & Resource Center at Hilbert will truly be transformative for the students we serve and the community at large.”

Led by Jeffrey Papia, Vice President of Mission Integration and Campus Ministry, the creation of the Center will centralize five separate intervention strategies to ensure student success. These interventions are:

  • Wellness Center – Physical & Mental Health and Well-Being;
  • SOAR:  Success, Opportunity, Advising and Retention, including shuttle bus service for City of Buffalo students;
  • Campus Ministry Outreach Program:  clothing and food insecurity;
  • Adult Services Initiative:  social services and referrals;
  • Learning Commons:  space for collaborative learning, educational technology and community building.

This grant will also support the creation of a new position to support diversity and inclusion initiatives at Hilbert.  Rooted in Hilbert’s Franciscan mission and values, the creation of this Center on the Hilbert campus and the supporting programs was borne from the College’s founding order, the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph and their continued ministry and outreach to the vulnerable and their involvement in peace and justice issues.

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the health and well-being of the vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of targeted communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services. The Foundation – which is named in memory of a tireless advocate for immigrants, children, and the poor – provides flexible support for new and innovative approaches that enhance health and wellness across New York State. For more information, visit

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With over 800 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs in criminal justice administration and public administration, including a track in health administration.