Maria Stories

Maria Story: Spector Scholarship

Maria College is very pleased to announce the first recipient of the Michael Spector ’83 Memorial Scholarship Fund is Ovie Odiete, a second year nursing student in the ADN program. This scholarship was created February 2019 in honor of Maria College alumnus Michael Spector and his 34 years of caring service and leadership in nursing.

“I am so grateful for this scholarship,” Ovie said. “This kind of help just doesn’t happen in my home country. For a family to help a complete stranger… that’s unheard of. I am full of thanks and will do my best to live up to Michael Spector’s legacy.”

Michael Spector, a native of Albany, NY, graduated from Colonie Central High School in 1974 and went on to get his Associate degree from SUNY Cobleskill. He completed his Associate degree in Nursing (ADN) from Maria College in 1983. He spent 24 years working at St. Clare’s Hospital in Schenectady, NY as a Registered Nursing and 9 years at Ellis Hospital as an Associate Nursing Manager and Clinical Resource Coordinator. He passed away in 2018 after a courageous battle with cancer. In his personal life and professional career he mentored many young men going into the field of nursing.

Ovie Odiete is originally from Nigeria, and is completing his Associates Degree in Nursing at Maria College. From there he plans on completing his Bachelor’s degree and working as an RN. Ovie is a father of two and works full-time in addition to his Maria studies. He recently had a chance to meet with members of the Spector family to thank them for their gift and to hear about Michael’s life.

The goal of this scholarship is to help a male nurse in the Maria ADN program enter his career as an RN and bring compassionate service to those around him. Gifts have been made by family, friends, and former co-workers of Michael Spector. Donations are accepted online at  or by sending a check to Maria College Development Office, Michael Spector Memorial Scholarship Fund – 700 New Scotland Ave, Albany, NY 12208. The fund will continue to raise money and award scholarships each year going forward.