Giving thanks to long-time supporters, Malcolm & Sylvia Boyce

November 21, 2016 in Articles by Dikla Tuchman


Nearly 10 years ago, Malcolm Boyce was perusing his Colgate University alumni magazine when he stumbled upon an article telling of a nonprofit organization fellow alumni, Glenn Langer, had founded and was expanding called Partnership Scholars Program. Since retiring, Malcolm and his wife Sylvia had made it a priority to invest their charitable giving in educational organizations. After reading about Dr. Langer’s organization with its mission of college-access for low-income students, Malcolm became intrigued. “It sounded interesting to me, so I got Glenn Langer’s address up in Mendocino County and we talked about it,” said Malcolm. The couple traveled from their home in Lafayette up to meet with Dr. Langer and his wife Marianne and from there began their philanthropic pursuits with the organization. At the outset, they made a small contribution to the organization, which grew over time. “In 2008 [Glenn] suggested that I join the board,” said Malcom, which he did, serving for about five years as a PSP Trustee.

Both Malcolm and Sylvia felt it was important to be active participants in their philanthropy and have maintained relationships with many of the scholars they sponsor, as well as their mentors. “We have followed two or three groups through the program and have seen them go off to college,” says Malcolm. “We’ve gotten to know most of the mentors, which is a big help. At the end of the day, the quality of the mentor is the most important thing in the organization.” Sylvia echoes Malcolm’s sentiments, calling the mentors she’s had the pleasure of getting to know in Mendocino an “energetic and dedicated group.”

The couple is thrilled to be able to see their students’ progress as they often travel north to attend both the induction of new students and the graduation of the seniors. Having now sponsored over 35 scholars, the Boyces typically have several new graduates going on to college at PSP’s annual commencement. In recent years, Malcolm and Sylvia have also engaged their two sons, Alan and Mark, in becoming sponsors for scholars as well.

Current PSP Trustee and long-time Fort Bragg mentor, Rachel Binah, has had the pleasure of knowing the Boyces for several years, noting their exceptional involvement in the program. She first met Malcolm and Sylvia at the Southern California graduation ceremony at Huntington Gardens back in 2010. “Donors don’t usually come to induction and graduation,” says Rachel. “They wanted to know all about [their scholars]. They were so thrilled to be part of the program, so generous and so attentive to the kids.”

Over her tenure as PSP Executive Director, Lisa Ruben has had the opportunity to work with Malcolm and Sylvia as donors, agreeing that the couple has been remarkable in both their generosity and their commitment to the organization. “PSP is lucky to have many incredibly dedicated donors,” says Lisa. “One of the things that stands out about Malcolm and Sylvia in particular is their passion for really getting to know the students they sponsor. They take a very personal interest in following their students over the years.”

Their continued support of PSP comes from their desire to help under-served communities and make a worthwhile investment. “The importance of organizations like this is what they’re trying to accomplish,” says Malcolm. “There’s a large number of bright, promising young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds that are being bypassed. PSP gives them a fighting chance to reach their full potential. The need is clearly there.”