When Rita Lyons DeBonis attended St. Joseph’s College, an anonymous benefactor paid half of her tuition each semester. So when she has an opportunity to help support the College’s current students, she doesn’t hesitate.
“A student does not need to drop out of SJC for financial reasons. The library should always be maintained with the latest information and technology. Educator salaries should be at a level to attract the best in the field of study,” said DeBonis, a 1970 graduate who recently donated to the College’s bookplate initiative.
The bookplate initiative, which saw more than 170 donors give about $19,000, offered alumni the chance to submit quotes to be added as bookplates to books in SJC Long Island’s Callahan Library or SJC Brooklyn’s McEntegart Library.
“SJC was and still is a close community,” said DeBonis, a registered nurse and a nurse educator at Archcare Senior Life, as well as an adjunct assistant professor at New York City College of Technology. “Those of us who graduated 50 years ago received the best education and foundation for our future life. Although the College has expanded, the education and foundation is still in place.”
The bookplate initiative allowed alumni to choose between giving to SJC Long Island unrestricted, SJC Brooklyn unrestricted, either the Callahan or McEntegart Library, the Student Emergency Fund or scholarships.
“Kids are spending a fortune these days to go to school, and when they come out, they’re strapped with an enormous bill, and it’s terrible,” said Constance Aievoli Kolb, who graduated from St. Joseph’s in 1962.
“I enjoyed my time at St. Joseph’s, and so I want to be able to help other students do the same,” added Kolb, who taught general science at the middle school level. “It was a wonderful school, where I made lasting friends, the teachers were very caring and you had individual attention. It was just a good experience all around.”
DeBonis’ bookplate: “Results happen over time, not overnight. Work hard, stay consistent, and be patient.”
Kolb’s bookplate: “I treasure my years at SJC. Those years helped me to become the person I am today and gave me the education I needed to become a good teacher and a good person. After 50 years, I am still in contact with friends I met at SJC.”