Soccer gave Dan Scaia ’68 a “free kick” at the opportunity to attend SUNY Oswego, and his connections to Oswego soccer led to his involvement in fundraising for a scholarship in honor of his late soccer coach Ernest B. Luongo. The satisfaction of creating a fund to support students in perpetuity spurred Scaia to establish the Dan ’68 and Linda Scaia Scholarship.
A member of the 1966 Oswego State Championship soccer team, Scaia says he wasn’t recruited to attend Oswego for his grades, which hovered around C level in high school. But his time at Oswego, he says, positioned him to be successful.
His student teaching experience in the fall semester of his senior year landed him a job offer, prior to graduation, to be a math teacher at West Genesee School District in Camillus, N.Y. He spent the next 14 years at the school teaching math and
coaching varsity soccer as well as some freshmen sports teams.
He later found great success as the owner of DFS Associates, a manufacturer’s representative firm in Skaneateles, N.Y., a company his daughter Danielle now runs. His other daughter, Lori, followed her father into his first career, and became a kindergarten teacher in Solvay, N.Y.
“I believe that our past is responsible for our future success,” says Scaia, an Oswego Alumni Association board member. “Oswego prepared me for all that I’ve accomplished in my career, and introduced me to some of my closest friends. Many of my Delta Kappa Kappa brothers get together on a regular basis, and I’m always encouraging them to support the college.”
The Scaia Scholarship will assist a School of Education student, with preference given to students “from Solvay where I attended high school, West Genesee where I taught or Skaneateles where I live,” he says. “I remember when I was a student—when tuition was only a few hundred dollars a year—every little bit of money helped. I hope our scholarship will make a difference to students long after we’re gone.”