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SBU News > Stony Brook Matters > Giving Back > Why I Give to My Alma Mater: John Risickella ’82

Why I Give to My Alma Mater: John Risickella ’82

John risickella sized 2

I have invested in Stony Brook since I became an alum in January 1983. My reasons for staying involved with the University and continuing to support Stony Brook monetarily are many-fold. On a personal level, my education at Stony Brook was enriching on many levels: I made lifelong friends, was able to establish myself in a meaningful career/vocation (Aerospace Engineering, a field which I continue to work in 35 years later), and in no small fashion it helped to shape my personal approach and philosophy to life. This included, but is not limited to, the ability to approach and address complicated issues in a systematic, professional and constructive manner. It is no understatement to say that the knowledge and skills that I obtained and that were nurtured at Stony Brook have fundamentally shaped who I am as an individual.

In a more general sense, I have supported Stony Brook as a way of giving back to the institution that had such a profound impact on me, and by doing so, hopefully providing the same type of opportunity to other young people. In this regard, a few years back I went a step further than my usual annual contribution, and with the guidance of the Stony Brook Development team, began the process of establishing an engineering scholarship in the name of my parents. This process was part of the Simon’s matching program, and has been a very exciting opportunity and experience. The first scholarship award is scheduled for this coming Fall. My hope is that my giving to Stony Brook will help to further the education of young people — primarily in STEM — who otherwise may not have the financial resources to begin or complete a formal engineering education. This, I feel, is a critically important activity — in that the technical knowledge and problem solving capabilities of the younger generations will clearly decide the future of the human species, and the place of the United States in that future. In this current social and political environment, the stakes could not be higher!

My continued giving and participation with Stony Brook University always makes me feel proud and honored to be able to, in my small way, give back to perhaps the most influential institution in my life. To feel a tiny part of the long and magical human quest for understanding the world around us, and to pass the torch to a younger generation is exciting and humbling.

John Risickella sized—John Risickella ’82, Aerospace Engineer

Inspired by John’s story? Click here to make your gift to Stony Brook University.

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