Dolan Scholarship Supports Children of Police, Firefighters
For Dan Dolan ’84, establishing a scholarship at SUNY Oswego enabled him to tie together several personally significant ideas.
Through the naming of the Charles P. Dolan Memorial Scholarship, he and his wife, Judith ’86, were able to ensure the memory and name of their infant son who died at birth would live on.
Through the criteria that the scholarship be awarded to the children or grandchildren of police officers or firefighters or who are themselves a police officer or firefighter, he was able to honor his parents, Mary A. Dolan and former New York City police officer Edward Dolan, and also the many first responders who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Lastly, by establishing the scholarship at SUNY Oswego, he could pay tribute to his alma mater, which helped set him on course to rise to his current position as senior vice president of ALPS Fund Services in Garden City, N.Y.
“I feel a strong connection to Oswego, and this scholarship kind of pulled together a bunch of things that were personally important to me,” Dolan said. “We want to help some people and make their lives easier, so that they will be able to enjoy the experience of Oswego without having to worry about it as much. That’s really what it’s about.”
Since its establishment 12 years ago, the scholarship has grown from one recipient a year to eight recipients a year, each receiving $5,000.
“This scholarship has helped support me by providing me financial relief,” said Jillian Dickey ’23, who is a double major in psychology and criminal justice, and hopes to become an officer in the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “It also increased my motivation to push through those busy nights when I have three essays to write.”
Dickey’s grandfather is a retired firefighter, her grandmother and mother serve in the Ladies Auxiliary for the West Seneca Fire Department and her father is a law enforcement officer.
“I want to express how much this scholarship has helped me financially,” she said. “The scholarship has also made me believe in myself a lot more. It truly means the world. I would like to give a huge thank you to SUNY Oswego and the [Dolans] for giving me this opportunity and helping me create my dream.”
Dolan said he is happy to know that the scholarships are helping the children of people whom he cares about and respects.
“As the son of a cop, I was really proud of my dad, and some of my best friends in the world are police and firemen,” said Dolan, who was the third of four children in his family and remembered how challenging it was for his father and mother (a school bus driver) to make ends meet.
“These are good, hard-working people who are trying to help others,” he said. “They certainly don’t go into this work for the money. They need our support, now more than ever. If I can help them by reducing their children’s debt load, then that’s what we wanted. It’s good for the parents and it’s good for the students, and it’s worked well for us, too.”
He encouraged others to consider supporting the scholarship or establishing their own scholarship or fund at Oswego.
“We started small, and we’ve been able to build to this,” Dolan said. “I never thought it would be where it is today—with eight scholarships of $5,000 a year. I would remind people that the matching gift piece from employers can really add up and make a difference quickly. Now, our scholarship will be awarded for years to come and the kids down the road will benefit from it. Anyone can do it, and you just have to get it going.”
In addition to the scholarship, Dolan is a corporate sponsor of the college Zamboni, which has a custom printed vinyl wrapped of Sector SPDRs (Standard & Poor’s Depositary Receipts) created by his marketing agency, DNA Creative run by Mark DiPippa ’83. Sector SPDRs also has purchased the ads for the ice rink boards.
“Interestingly, we did this at Oswego and liked it so much, we decided to do the same thing at Madison Square Garden,” Dolan said. “But Oswego was first.”
For more information on establishing a scholarship or supporting the Charles P. Dolan Scholarship, visit oswego.edu/path-forward or contact Mary Gibbons Canale ’81, vice president for development and alumni engagement, at 315-312-5558 or firstname.lastname@example.org.