Office of Public Affairs
Nov. 12, 2003
NON-TRAD WHO BECAME TEACHER ENDOWS SCHOLARSHIP
OSWEGO -- A woman who came back to school at SUNY
Oswego as a non-traditional student over 30 years ago will now help
other non-trads to fulfill their dreams of a college education.
M. Jean Pietroski graduated from Oswego in 1971 and went
on to earn a master's in education in 1994. She has donated $20,000 to
endow a scholarship in honor of her parents, Milton Hope Gillespie and
Marjorie Lucy Roth Gillespie. It will be awarded to a non-traditional
student majoring in education.
"I had gone to Phoenix High School and had always
loved math and dreamed of being a math teacher," she said. "But then I
took a different fork in the road." She got married and raised a
"When the marriage hadn't worked out, I went to
college and became the math teacher I always wanted," she said. She
ended up fulfilling her teen-age dream by becoming the math teacher at
Pietroski hopes her gift will help others follow her
path. "To me, there's nothing better than being a teacher, and it might
inspire someone else to do the same thing," she said.
Kevin Mahaney, vice president for development
at SUNY Oswego, said, "Jean Pietroski's gift will make it possible for
other adults to return to school and fulfill their dreams. Her
generosity will have a direct impact on students for years to come."
Pietroski's scholarship honors her parents. The
Gillespies lived their adult lives in Phoenix and were strong advocates
of the benefits of education. They actively participated in many
projects for the Phoenix community.
Marjorie Gillespie was active in the PTA, the
Schroeppel Historical Society and the local senior citizens
organization, of which she was a founder. She also was an editor of the
local newspaper and was active in the Lionettes.
Milton Gillespie was an active member of the Lions
International, serving as a local president and governor of district
20-Y-1. He also was active in the Central New York Eye Bank, Media
Temple, Scottish Rite and the Shrine Club. He served as a trustee and
mayor of the village of Phoenix and a member and chair of the
Schroeppel Planning Board.
Pietroski's gift was inspired by her friend, Sid
Stafford, who is retired from the University of Illinois. When his son,
Tim, who returned to college as an adult to become a fourth-grade
teacher, died during routine surgery, Sid endowed a scholarship at
Illinois in Tim's name.
"I don't have much, but I have more money than I
need, and I think most people do," Pietroski said. "Even though you
have other obligations, there's always room for helping
She answered a mailing from Oswego and was contacted
by Barb Manwaring, associate director of development. "She was very
helpful and receptive to my ideas and helpful in refining what I
wanted," Pietroski said.
For help in establishing a scholarship or for more
information, call Manwaring at 312-3003.
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