University of Rochester

New Scholarship Available to Exceptional Female Students

March 11, 1999

The University of Rochester's Susan B. Anthony University Center has announced the availability of the Jane R. Plitt Scholarship. The award is open to any part-time or full-time female University student who displays leadership qualities and exceptional community outreach.

The scholarship was created by Plitt's sister, Arlene Kossoff, and her husband, Richard Kossoff, to encourage others to emulate Plitt's lifetime commitment to equal rights for women. The first award will be given for the 1999-2000 academic year in the amount of $500. Nominations will be accepted until March 31. Academic achievement is not a factor and self-nominations are welcome. The name of the winner will be announced at the annual Susan B. Anthony Dinner, held every February.

Plitt is a local businesswoman who has been dedicated to achieving equal rights for women. Locally, she helped eliminate men-only grills and eating areas and has led efforts to assure equality on the job. She has been active in the National Organization for Women (NOW) and played a key role in opening membership to women in the Jaycees and other service organizations, including Rotary and Kiwanis.

Plitt has recently researched and written a book about Rochester's 19th-century female entrepreneur, Martha Matilda Harper, who created the first retail franchise in America and launched over 500 beauty shops throughout the world under her innovative business model. The book, Defying Destiny, How One Woman Changed the Face of American Business will be published by Syracuse University Press and a major exhibit on Harper will be created by the Rochester Museum and Science Center in the year 2000.