“Two powerful characteristics combined to make Dan Scaia a shining example of the impact that one individual can make on an institution as large and as established as SUNY Oswego,” said Schnorr, a 1987 Oswego alumna. “Those two characteristics are devotion and action.”
She shared a few highlights of Scaia’s contributions to his alma mater, beginning with his role as a member of the 1966 men’s championship soccer team and his involvement in Delta Kappa Kappa.
Scaia, of Skaneateles, graduated from SUNY Oswego with a teaching degree in mathematics in 1968 and taught and coached in the West Genesee School District in Camillus for 14 years before founding DFS Associates, a manufacturer’s representative firm in Skaneateles.
His friend, 1969 graduate Dan Bangs, wrote in a letter of support of Scaia’s nomination for the award: “From the beaches of Hawaii to the bleachers of Fenway Park, and everyplace in between, you could count on seeing Dan in his Oswego hat or shirt and, of course, proudly displaying his Oswego class ring.”
Bangs added: “If I had to name a trait that sets Dan apart from so many of us, it is that he is a ‘doer.’ Where others may sit and talk about things that need to be done, Dan stands up and does them.”
Scaia was credited for his role in connecting or reconnecting DKK fraternity brothers from across generations with each other and with the college. For nearly two decades, he has been instrumental in organizing mini-reunions, golf outings and socials for DKK brothers, including annual events in Florida and during Reunion Weekend on campus.
He also spearheaded an effort among his DKK brothers to establish the Delta Kappa Kappa Scholarship in honor of its 90th anniversary and to highlight the positive impact Greek Life can have on a student’s experience and the college itself. DKK became the first active Greek organization to create such a legacy on the campus.
In addition to this scholarship, his support for the college has included spearheading the establishment of the Ernest B. Luongo Memorial scholarship, in honor of his soccer coach.
Scaia served as the challenger in the college’s inaugural Athletics Challenge, and most recently served his alma mater as the Class of 1968 Reunion Giving chairperson and a member of the 2018 Reunion Planning and Engagement Committee. He is a member of the President’s Circle giving society and the Loyal Lakers Society. Scaia has provided at least one gift to the college in 30 of the past 33 years.
His contributions go far beyond his philanthropic support. He has volunteered his time for the past six years as a member of the Oswego Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, and through his service, is helping to shape programs and services for alumni engagement now and in the future.
“Dan is the consummate ambassador for Oswego who truly leads by example and inspires others to be engaged with the college,” Schnorr said.
President Stanley joined Schnorr in congratulating Scaia and presented the award to him.
In his acceptance remarks, Scaia thanked and credited Luongo with taking a chance on him and his left-footed kick.
“You never value a moment until it becomes a memory,” Scaia said. “Coach Luongo made an enormous impact on me. I am happy that I was able to make an impact here at Oswego in return.”