Oswego State receives $7.5 million donation

Oswego State received a $7.5 million gift from the estate of Oswego County resident Lorraine E. Marano in January. This is the largest single gift the college has received in its history.

The money established the Nunzio “Nick” C. and Lorraine E. Marano Endowment, which will be used primarily to fund scholarships for students with financial need, especially those who are first-generation college students.

“We are deeply honored by Lorraine Marano’s confidence in establishing the Marano family legacy at SUNY Oswego,” Oswego State president Deborah Stanley said. “It will live on for generations. Her gift is a testament to what our college means to the surrounding community. The Marano gift is evidence that our roots and influence go even deeper than we may realize as we go about our day-to-day teaching and learning and that our college’s academic, cultural, service and economic development activities have a positive and encouraging impact on the lives of the people around us.”

Lorraine and Nunzio “Nick” Marano had an agricultural business on a muck farm in Scriba. Nick owned Marano Vacuum Cooling and Sales Inc. until his death in 2002. Lorraine Marano worked as a librarian and then for Resorts International and Tropicana Casinos in New Jersey. She died this past October at the age of 67.

Stanley added that the trustee of Marano described her as being deliberative about how she determined beneficiaries and amounts. Marano openly discussed her admiration for Oswego State and said she believed the college was worthy of a gift of such magnitude because of the benefits it accords to students through academic programming, committed faculty and staff and strong, imaginative leadership.

The $7.5 million will go to funding scholarships for future Oswego State students. Marano was a large supporter of future education and wanted to provide opportunities for those with financial hardships.

“Lorraine Marano’s profound understanding of the transformative powers of public higher education is affirmed by this extraordinary generous gift,” Stanley said. “Her gift will help put a college education within reach for many students, fulfilling hopes and dreams and investing in a better future for all of us as our graduates forge productive lives in their communities. Lorraine’s decision means that students, particularly those who can least afford it, can benefit immediately and directly.”

One things that students and Oswego State graduates agree on is Marano’s love for education should not only be preserved, but should last for a long time.

“President Stanley has captured perfectly the sentiments of the entire campus regarding the tremendous transformative impact the historical Marano scholarship gift legacy will have for generations of students to come,” Kerry Dorsey, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, said.

Stanley said the Marano endowment will deliver meaningful personal and financial assistance to students, many of whom face significant barriers to attending college.

“Hers is a transformative gift for future generations of students, whose own careers and lifetime successes will, we are confident, fulfill the confidence she has shown in them and in SUNY Oswego,” Stanley said.