Charter member of SCMA Advisory Board makes gift of $50,000 to Oswego

Howard Olinsky ’81

Howard Olinsky ’81

Howard Olinsky ’81, a disability attorney and managing partner of Olinsky Disability, has given a gift of $50,000 to SUNY Oswego. Two-thirds of his gift will go
to the School of Com­muni­cation, Media and the Arts Dean’s Fund, and one-third to where the need is greatest.

Olinsky serves on the first SCMA Advisory Board, and is a loyal supporter of SUNY Oswego. He says supporting his alma mater is an important part of his philanthropy plan, to give back to “the schools and universities that have helped me become successful.”

“Successful” is no exaggeration – Olinsky manages 16 full-time attorneys and 22 contracted attorneys at his firm, which is the largest filer of Social Security Disability federal court cases in the nation. He has offices in Syracuse and Orlando.

Olinsky got his start in Oswego, opening up his law firm on West First Street. The firm’s name still adorns the front of the Old Marine Midland Bank Building, where his office was for more than 15 years. He says the firm moved to Syracuse in order to expand, but Olinsky never lost his love for Oswego or the desire to give back to the college.

“I plan on being an active participant,” he says. Giving back is “a way of bringing additional money into the individual schools without having to raise tuition,” and he believes this is crucial to Oswego’s success.

His goal for this gift is to help students who graduate with a communication degree become more marketable. He and Dean Fritz Messere ’71 M ’76 are working on a plan to create a PR program that can help students get experience with all aspects of advertising and media.

“It’s a big goal,” he says, “but you’ve got to start somewhere.”

—Kaitlin Provost ’12

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