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CUNY Faculty Give Back

March 11, 2009 | Partners and Supporters

If CUNY’s students and alumni are its lifeblood, then its faculty is its backbone, providing structure, strength and support. The role of faculty and retirees in fundraising has been growing, and will become a regular feature in our newsletter.

The new column will spotlight faculty members who are leading the way in philanthropy as well as in academics and pedagogy. Some of our faculty members are among the leading donors to their CUNY college. They not only give but they also encourage others to give and take active roles in fundraising.

Take Professor Gordon Di Paolo. He has taught Business at the College of Staten Island for over thirty five years and is truly an example of a faculty AND community leader for CSI. Professor Di Paolo and his wife have contributed significantly every year for most of his tenure at CSI. His most recent gift-giving has established scholarships for students in a variety of disciplines beyond Business and his generosity has made it possible for students to participate in the study abroad program. Di Paolo, who is disabled, also has made scholarships available to students with disabilities. And he has enhanced his gifts by using creative techniques to magnify their impact. For example, some of his gifts are funded through IRAs under the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Di Paolo’s fundraising contributions don’t stop with his own giving. He participates in fundraising appeals to alumni and local businesses and corporations and sits on search committees to identify and recruit the best Advancement professionals for the college.

Professor Di Paolo gives new meaning to the old fundraising adage that funds are raised “from the inside out”. When those closest to the college give with as much gusto as the Di Paolos have, the impact of the giving is magnified. The Di Paolos have changed the face of CSI, and for that the students of CSI and of all CUNY owe them a debt of thanks.