Photo of Kumar Wise, 2023 Promise Prize Awardee and Ijeoma Ezekwe, 2022 Promise Prize Awardee.

Kumar Wise, 2023 Promise Prize Awardee and Ijeoma Ezekwe, 2022 Promise Prize Awardee

Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize

The Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize® was first established in 2002 at the law school by Vikki Pryor ’78 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.

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 and continues to be an inspiration to family and friends. 

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.

Donations to UB Law’s Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize® fund are gratefully accepted and all donations, whatever the size, are important and appreciated. Thank you for considering donating to support the next generation of Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize® Scholars.

Mail Your Gift

Send your gift to:

University at Buffalo School of Law
Office of Advancement
608 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260

Checks should be made out to the Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize