Because of the Kids

Deanne “Dee” Molinari

During her 22 years of employment at Purchase College, Deanne "Dee" Molinari crossed paths with hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people. But the ones she remembers the most, and the ones who inspired her both then and now, are the students, and they are the reason she continues to support Purchase in her retirement.

Molinari's donations over the years have included a charitable gift annuity. A donor makes a donation, the college invests it, and the donor receives annual income from the gift during their lifetime. It's a win-win proposition, and with donations such as these Purchase College Foundation can provide scholarship relief for the students that Molinari cares so much about. "It's because of the kids," she says of her generosity. "I just want to help."

Early in her career, Molinari had been working in student housing at RIT, and was ready for a change. "I printed out 100 resumes," she recalls, "but I only sent one—to Purchase." At the time, the Purchase campus was still under construction, and Molinari was attracted to the challenge of building a place from the ground up, and the idea that by doing so, she could have a lasting impact.

As Director of Housing on a campus that was not quite finished, those early challenges were many. They famously included her efforts to supervise housing and bus service for Purchase freshpeople when the empty dorm at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx became their home for the first semester of their college careers. But in Molinari's eyes, her workday challenges were nothing compared to what she saw some of the students going through.

She recalls the struggles of so many students throughout the years—bright, dedicated, and smart, but having trouble paying for college, working one or even two jobs while managing their course loads. "They loved what they did, and were going to do it come hell or high water." Molinari considers herself fortunate that life has put her in a position where she has enough that she can lend a hand.

"I hope that all of these students are able to fulfill their educational dreams, to go out and be profitably engaged and successful, no matter what their fields."