Philanthropy at Siena College

Philanthropy at Siena College

Since the inception of the College, there has been an outpouring of benevolence and philanthropic giving by numerous individuals. These benefactors have done so to advance the ideals of a liberal arts education, rooted in the identity of a Franciscan Catholic institution. We wish to feature a sampling of these altruistic acts below.

The essence of philanthropy at Siena College truly lies in its origin with the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province and their establishment of the college in 1937.  The Franciscans gave life to an academic idea, 75 years ago, and continue to give a part of themselves in their ongoing vision to nurture this institution of excellent liberal arts education in so many valuable ways.  There are numerous examples, noted throughout the campus, in which these faith-filled, dedicated individuals have been honored. We have highlighted the compassion and generosity of the Franciscan Friars in ways that include plaques or statues, located around the College grounds. Visible references of gratitude can be found in areas such as the Father Benjamin J. Kuhn, O.F.M. Alumni House, the Standish Room 202 Rotunda, Room L23 in the Franciscan Reading Room and the sculpture in the academic quad.  One significant, philanthropic gesture of honoring the Franciscan Friars can be witnessed in the dedication of Hines Hall on May 18, 1989, to pay tribute to Siena’s seventh President, Father Hugh F. Hines, O.F.M.  Through the generosity and devotion of J. Patrick Barrett ’59, former trustee, and his wife Chris, a one million dollar gift was donated to dedicate this building in Father’s name.

The Holy Name Province recently donated $1.5 million to the Comprehensive Campaign to benefit the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA).

The Marcelle Athletic Complex first opened its doors in 1992 and was made possible through the generous, lead gift of Alfonso “Doc” Marcelle and his wife, Anne.  At the time of the dedication, Doc was the President of Callanan Industries, Inc.  Today, Siena College continues to benefit philanthropically from the ongoing annual support given by this company.  The Callanan Field House, the Callanan Industries Endowed Scholarship, the Annual Fund, and their support of various College events are just a few examples of their continued partnership with Siena.

Within each campus building, there are various references highlighting the notable financial contributions made by so many supporters, over the past seventy-five year history of the College. The Morrell Science Center, completed in 2001, is one example, where we proudly pay tribute to the philanthropy of Trustee James ’66 and Former Associate Trustee Kathy Morrell, whose lead gift made this science center a reality. 

Another story of significant giving can be noted in Siena’s Standish Library, dedicated in October of 1999.  The lead gift given by J. Spencer Standish and his wife, Patricia, can trace their proud family connection back to Myles Standish, the worthy pilgrim and passenger of the “Mayflower.”  Patricia was an English adjunct lecturer at Siena from 1958 through1989. In 2004, she received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the College and Spencer received an Honorary Doctor of Science.  The Standish family has built a tradition of generosity and is committed to supporting educational institutions, such as Siena College.

Lonnstrom Landing was dedicated in 2006 to honor the philanthropy of Dr. Doug ’66 and Cris Lonnstrom. Doug was born in 1937, the same year that the College was founded.  He has been a professor at Siena for over 30 years and continues to teach Quantitative Business Analysis to our students today.  He also has the respected honor of holding the title of Founding Director for the Siena Research Institute (SRI).

Throughout the history of Siena, there have been certain notable individuals, who have contributed financially to the College, with very generous gifts of one million dollars or more. These donors hold the prestigious designation of being called the“Builders of Siena.”  Their names, which are updated on a regular basis, can be found listed on the soffits of Siena Hall.  These builders are J. Patrick Barrett ’59 and Christine; Michael Bucci ’73 and Mary Jane; Douglas Colbeth ’77; Margaret Lanzafame Colbeth ’76; James Cushing; Maureen O’Sullivan Cushing H ‘83; Jack ’50 and Betsy Harvey; Douglas Hickey ’77; Kenneth T. H’03 and Thelma H’03 Lally; Charles MacClosky ’40; George ’54 and Sally Maloney; Dr. Alfonso Marcelle’49 and Anne; James Morrell ’66; Kathleen Morrell; Gene Sarazen H’78; Mary Sarazen; J. Spencer Standish H ’04; Patricia Standish H’04; John D. Picotte; and the Friars of the Holy Name Province. 

The many buildings that comprise Cushing Village, dedicated in September of 1995, were made possible by numerous donations and one in particular to honor the generosity of Jim and Maureen O’Sullivan Cushing.  From 1979 through 2008, Jim was a member of Siena’s Board of Trustees and was also named in 2008, trustee emeritus. He recently died at the age of 90 in 2011. Maureen was well known as an outstanding actress having parts in over 80 motion pictures during her 60-year acting career. She is best known for her role as “Jane” in the Tarzan movies, made during the 1950s. Maureen received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Siena College in 1983.  Her daughter, Mia Farrow, carried on her mother’s tradition of acting in several motion pictures and is also known for her extensive humanitarian work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Mia Farrow’s son, Moses, graduated from Siena in 2000.  The Cushing’s hold the honored distinction of currently having the largest endowed scholarship at Siena College, which totals over $3 million.  In 2011, The Maureen O’Sullivan Cushing Scholarship funded $183,000 worth of scholarships, which resulted in tuition assistance for approximately 80 students.

MacClosky Square, dedicated in October of 1999, was named to honor the philanthropy of Colonel Charles “Mac” MacClosky.  Mac was a transfer student from RPI and actually graduated in 1940, one year prior to Siena’s first graduating class of 1941. His company, the Charles MacClosky Contracting and Engineering Company, went on to build the California Highway system in the early 1960’s.

In 2011, Siena College officially opened Thompson Trail. The 750-foot walkway was named after the late Dell Thompson, Ed.D.  His wife, Audrey Thompson, was the philanthropic contributor behind this walkway. Dell Thompson was among the first non-friars to take on a leadership role at the College. In 1970, he was hired as Vice President for Student Affairs.  Three years later, he became Vice President of Development. Thompson left Siena to pursue other opportunities, but later became a member of the Board of Associate Trustees. In the late 1990s, he returned to Siena to run the planned giving program. Additionally, before his retirement, Thompson was instrumental in guiding the College through the Middle States accreditation process.

The Hickey Financial Technology Center was made possible through the generous philanthropic contribution of Douglas Hickey. Doug has been a continual supporter of Siena and its community since he graduated with a B.A. in economics in 1977. He has donated more than $1 million to fund the Douglas T. Hickey Chair in Business and to make possible the creation of the Hickey Financial Technology Center in Siena Hall. This Center is one of only a handful of similar facilities across the country that gives students real-world exposure to the data and tools seen in today’s financial centers. He is also a supporter of Siena’s Annual Fund and sits on the College’s Board of Trustees. The College recognized his generosity by naming him one of the “Builders of Siena.”

The William R. Raub Trading Room, located in the Hickey Financial Technology Center, is another example of philanthropic giving from the heart. Contributions from Maureen Raub, the wife of the late William R. Raub ’85, have exceeded $400K as a result of her most recent gift of $183K to the William R. Raub Memorial Scholarship.  The William R. Raub Memorial Foundation, which honors her husband who died in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, has helped to seed the development and secure the naming of the William R. Raub Trading Room and the creation of the William R. Raub Memorial Scholarship. Maureen is also a member of Siena’s Associate Board of Trustees.