A Force for Bentley
Donors honor a mentor, support first-gen students
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Access and opportunity. Both are vital for creating a stronger, more supportive, more vibrant community. The best resources ensure the best and brightest not only arrive — they thrive.
Trustee Rob Alan ’91 counts March 3, 2023, as his proudest day at Bentley, when more than 250 fellow Falcons joined him on campus to officially dedicate the Claudette Blot Multicultural Center Lounge.
The space is the first on campus to be named for a person of color.
At Bentley, the name Claudette Blot has long been synonymous with support. Alan’s generous investment of $250,000, with an additional $50,000 from Mackenzy Bernadeau ’08, ensures it always will be. For almost 30 years, Blot has been a mentor, advocate and safe haven for hundreds of students, particularly students of color, with the Multicultural Center in all its iterations as her home base.
“She is perhaps the most selfless individual I know,” Alan says. “It was a very easy decision to support this program.” Receiving a world-class education from Bentley was a privilege that Alan benefits from every day, he says. In turn, it is his privilege to now serve as a trustee and Great Benefactor of the university.
Though never one to take the spotlight, Blot shined at the dedication, thanking her family — biological and Bentley: “I’m a servant at heart. This was about making sure that our students were safe on this campus and that there were doors open for them.”
The renovated space and close-knit MCC community exemplify what is possible when you lead like Blot, adds Katie Lampley ’96, vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer. “With a spirit of service, a heart of caring and a dedication to helping those around you to be their most authentic selves.”
“I am the grandson of immigrants,” Rick Oricchio ’78 told families at the First-Generation Pinning Ceremony in October. “They came with nothing but the desire to work and put their children and families in a place where they saw opportunity and hope.”
To honor all that his parents did to support his own education, he and wife Lore created the Francis and Rosemarie Oricchio Endowed Scholarship Fund. A recent gift to the fund of $150,000 — which includes a generous match by Deloitte, where Oricchio enjoyed a long career as a partner — brings the family’s total campaign giving to $500,000. “What we’re doing is really not very remarkable,” Oricchio insists. But ask any Bentley student: Scholarships change lives.
Arriving and Thriving
Once a student enrolls, how does Bentley help them thrive?
It takes partners like Dan Farley, MBA ’95; the trustee has donated $250,000 for programs that support first-generation student success. Farley is impressed with the vision of Associate Provost for Student Success Jane Griffin, who is building an environment where every Bentley student feels a sense of belonging, through leadership opportunities, mentoring and career development.
“The program is a great example of what can be if we’re able to widen the net and support these students in their academic endeavors,” Farley says. “That has longstanding implications not only for the individuals, but for the university, and for society more broadly.”
The executive vice president and CIO, Investment Solutions Group for State Street Global Advisors is a longtime advocate and philanthropist for educational success, as is his wife, Cheryl.
Angelo G. Manioudakis ’88 is paying his father’s dream forward: He and wife Melani Cammett gave $10,000 to the First-Generation Student Success Fund as a match challenge during Falcons Forward.
A first-gen student himself, the CIO of Northern Trust Asset Management says: “Access to a Bentley education for those who don’t have the natural competitive advantages of our society is so important. I want to give a boost to this group of students who are hungry to build, grow and achieve when given the chance, and who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.”
The new fund will support Bentley’s chapter of the Tri-Alpha national honor society, first-gen programming and the annual pinning ceremony for incoming first-gen students.