Class Agents for the 1990s
Todd W. Milenius
Darrell S. Park
Jody Moore O’Grady
Jennelle Murosky Freeston
Douglas Casa ’90
Hometown: Storrs, CT
Current Employment: Chief Operating Officer, Korey Stringer Institute; Professor, University of Connecticut
Campus Organizations: Varsity Cross Country, Varsity Track, Resident Assistant
What my Allegheny education means to me: Attending Allegheny was the best decision of my life. My wife always gets annoyed when I say this since she thinks it should be deciding to marry her, but my decision to attend Allegheny is the honest truth. Allegheny took a passionate, driven person and provided focus, structure, and an incredible environment of wonderful professors and fellow students. I absolutely loved my four years at Allegheny. The combination of the biology major and having the chance to be a varsity athlete was exactly what I wanted, and I was pushed to the max doing both, but I am extremely proud that I finished both in a very successful manner. The traits I learned pushing through some extreme challenges have been carried with me every day since I have left. I got married on campus in 1996 and hope one (or more) of my three kids decides to attend Allegheny.
Why I give back: I hope that my assistance can help others have the chance to receive the great Allegheny experience that I was able to have. I have given every year since I left (even when I was an extremely broke grad student) and will give every year until I die. I will always be thankful for what Allegheny did for me.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: To try to remind some of my classmates of the positive influence Allegheny had on their lives.
Dean Skarlis ’90
Hometown: Albany, NY
Current Employment: Owner/President
Campus Organizations: Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, Resident Assistant, Resident Director, Honor Committee
What my Allegheny education means to me: Allegheny helped shape me in many ways. I learned as much out of the classroom as I learned inside it. My education clarified many of my beliefs and changed others. I met exceptional people and had a tremendous experience. It was the best time of my life.
Why I give back: Because Allegheny means so much to me.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: I’d like to help the College get to the next level in higher education. The school should be more nationally recognized and highly ranked, and hopefully we can help it get there.
Mary Huston Beene ’91
Hometown: Savannah, GA
Current Employment: Pastor
Major: Environmental Science and German
Campus Organizations: Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Phi Omega
What my Allegheny education means to me: As I hear more and more about how wonderful it would be to get kids in and out of college quickly, so they can “start their real life” – in other words, a life making money – I realize how important every year, every day of my education at Allegheny was as a part of my “real life” – a life that doesn’t just take from the world, but gives back and even heals.
Why I give back: I received so much while a student at Allegheny, and I want to support the work that continues there. I’m particularly impressed with the development of the environmental science program.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: As someone in the fundraising world for more than a decade, I know how important it is that every alum gives even a small gift in order to support the College, as well as improve our chances with grant makers and rankings organizations. When Allegheny succeeds, the value of my degree improves as well!
Hometown: Amherst, NY
Current Employment: Owner/Sales
Campus Organizations: Phi Kappa Psi
What my Allegheny education means to me: My Allegheny education provided me with the information and experience that have enabled me to be successful in life.
Why I give back: To support the College that gave me my solid educational foundation.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: It is important for Allegheny alums to support the College so future students have the opportunity to attend such a great learning institution.
Chris Nicolussi ’91
Hometown: New York, NY
Current Employment: Senior Director, NYU Global Programs
Major: Communication Arts
Campus Organizations: Delta Tau Delta, International Student Club, Interfraternity Council, Student Government, Admission Tourguide
What my Allegheny education means to me: I work with students every day, which always reminds me of my time as an undergraduate. I do all that I can to serve the students I work with now at the same high caliber with which I feel like I was treated at Allegheny.
Why I give back: I was a first-generation college student who wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from college. It wasn’t until I settled into a groove at Allegheny that I realized I would be learning and growing as a person from the lessons I learned both inside and outside the classroom. The professors, administrators, and fellow students I learned from set the foundation for the career and life of which I have been quite satisfied.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: Having worked in higher education for more than 20 years, I understand how competitive it is in the industry to attract the best students and the most qualified faculty. The dedication of alumni is an important way an institution can show prospective students and professors that they, too, should want to become part of the Allegheny community.
Hometown: Burke, VA
Current Employment: Owner, Wendy Baird Consulting
Campus Organizations: Alpha Delta Pi, Campus Deacons, Habitat for Humanity
What my Allegheny education means to me: Twenty plus years later, I see my four years at Allegheny as the most formative in my life. Academically, Allegheny pushed me to work harder and think deeper than I’d imagined possible, within the context of an extremely supportive environment. It was not until I went onto graduate school (where the primary focus was on research, not teaching) that I began to really appreciate Allegheny professors’ deep commitment to students. They knew me and cared about me personally, and those relationships were transformative. Equally important to my academic learning was my learning outside of the classroom. Looking back on it, my extracurricular life was where I grew confident in myself as a leader. The Allegheny community is a close-knit one that encourages students to participate in a staggering array of activities. These opportunities, among other things, taught me to take risks, showed me that I could impact causes that mattered to me, and facilitated friendships that continue today.
Why I give back: David Hoag ’60, a former trustee, summed it up perfectly with his quote: “The only owners of Allegheny College are the alumni. There is no city, state, or profession to worry about us. We are all there is. If we don’t do it, no one else will.” As alumni, we have a key role in creating the College’s future, and I want to be part of that effort.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: Though most people don’t like to talk about fundraising, increasing donations from our peer group matters to Allegheny’s future. Fundraising doesn’t have to be a bad word. I’m hoping to help more alumni feel good about supporting an institution they care about.
Hometown: Media, PA
Current Employment: Vice President – Global Restructuring
Campus Organizations: Intramural softball, Phonathon, Senior Week Planning Committee
What my Allegheny education means to me: I was Penn State bound until Allegheny accepted me. I really thought an Allegheny education could help me achieve my dream of becoming a dentist. Then came Chem 110, winter trimester, 8 a.m. on Saturdays. Chemistry was never one of my strengths, and Allegheny helped me recognize and understand my strengths. Changing my major to economics at the end of freshman year was a gigantic decision. My professors believed in me, and that helped me build my self-confidence. The structure and intensity of completing an econ major in three years was amazing and made me realize that anything is possible with hard work and professors who genuinely cared about me. The technical skills that I learned at Allegheny combined with learning the fundamentals of writing well and speaking well transformed my experience. At this stage of my career, technical skills are expected of me, but polished communication skills are part of my personal brand that are highly valued, especially in an era of texting. The best part of my Allegheny experience was my lifelong friendships. No matter how often I see my friends, we are so connected by Allegheny that it feels like we were never apart.
Why I give back: My Allegheny education was the greatest gift my parents ever gave me, and I am really thankful for the impact Allegheny still has on my life. Fifty years from now, I want to reflect back on my life and know that other kids had the opportunity to experience this special place because I faithfully supported Allegheny.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: We don’t have 600,000 alumni or the benefits of a Big 10 Championship game that will bring millions to our alma mater. As Allegheny alumni, we are a small group, but collectively, we can have a big impact. This is a great opportunity for me to reconnect with fellow alumni. I hope other alumni will be motivated to re-establish their connection with Allegheny and be willing to give back.
Eric Smith ’92
Hometown: Red Bank, NJ
Current Employment: Chief Operating Officer – Contemporary Healthcare Capital
Major: Economics/Political Science
Campus Organizations: Student Government, Phi Kappa Psi
What my Allegheny education means to me: The education I received at Allegheny has allowed me to excel in my career.
Why I give back: I want to make sure that Allegheny remains one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: I serve as a Class Agent because I would like to do my part to increase the alumni participation rate in the Annual Fund.
Hometown: Brunswick Hills Twp., OH
Current Employment: Manager, IT Operations
Campus Organizations: Alpha Phi Omega, Allegheny College Amateur Radio Association
What my Allegheny education means to me: My Allegheny education taught me how to think and act independently. It has helped me to build a solid foundation of skills that I draw from every day in my career.
Why I give back: The cost of an Allegheny education is in excess of the cost of yearly tuition. I am thankful for those who came before me and contributed to the cost of my education so that I could gain skills to be successful in life. It’s now my turn to pay that back to the College so that others can benefit from the same excellent education I received.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: I am serving as a Class Agent to encourage others to consider giving back to the College that benefited them in so many ways so that present and future generations can have access to the same high-quality learning experience that we received.
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA
Current Employment: Vice President, Video Management
Major: English, Philosophy
Campus Organizations: Soccer, Phi Delta Theta
What my Allegheny education means to me: During my childhood, I leaned on my parents for strength, confidence, and security. My time at Allegheny represented an opportunity to develop those qualities within myself and to use an education as the foundation for that transformation. That process was very challenging, but since graduation I can honestly say that I’ve always felt my education gave me the tools to succeed in any environment.
Why I give back: I had a suspicion while at Allegheny that the faculty and staff operated with a passion that was unique. My subsequent educational and professional experiences confirmed that. To the extent I benefited from those exceptional efforts, I feel obligated to help support and continue that very special tradition.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: I always felt a strong kinship to both the College and my classmates. I look forward to using this as an opportunity to reconnect with old friends, to help perpetuate a tradition of giving, and to simply stay connected to a college and an experience I value tremendously.
Hometown: Rocky River, OH
Current Employment: Senior Vice President – Commercial Real Estate Lender
Major: Economics and English
Campus Organizations: Delta Tau Delta, Football Team, RA/RD, Allegheny Newman
What my Allegheny education means to me: At Allegheny, I learned to accomplish large assignments; think critically; question the logic behind statements and numbers; articulate ideas, concepts and beliefs; and work well with others. If I could describe the traits I value in professional colleagues, the items that I list above would all be very high on my list.
Why I give back: I benefited from Allegheny in so many ways, some of which were not clear until five or 10 years after graduation. I grew as a person, student, and mentor to others over my four years at Allegheny and was able to set out upon a path of my choosing. I had the good fortune to meet my wife at Allegheny. We cherish our Allegheny education, both the learning in the classroom and extracurricular education. I received some scholarship assistance and appreciated those who went before me.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: I benefited from the support of those before us through scholarship assistance. I believe in contributing to Allegheny to allow the college to continue to provide assistance to students. Also, Allegheny takes leadership on numerous issues that I believe are important: civility in politics, environmental stewardship. I believe that grassroots alumni support of the College helps perpetuate these efforts. Finally, I have appreciated the tremendous education that I received and wish to help as many others have such an opportunity.
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Current Employment: Portfolio Manager
Campus Organizations: Theta Chi, WARC
What my Allegheny education means to me: My Allegheny experience provided me with a fundamental skill set that prepared me for the “real world” and taught me the value of hard work and diversity. It also offered an environment where I met some of the best people and friends I’ve ever had.
Why I give back: To ensure future generations have the opportunity to develop critical-thinking and communication skills with a diverse, liberal arts-based curriculum.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: Because I care about the longevity of the College and the value proposition it provides to our society.
Hometown: Chagrin Falls, OH
What my Allegheny education means to me: At Allegheny, I got a first-rate college education, met numerous “forever” friends, and was able to emerge as a vocal musician under the guidance of Ward and Vicki Jamison.
Why I give back: Allegheny provided me with a superb education, and I feel a responsibility to give back. Selfishly, seeing my name on the list of 1996 donors makes me feel pretty good, too!
Why I serve as a Class Agent: To remind my fellow classmates that continuing to give to Allegheny isn’t something to be put on the back burner! It takes just a few minutes to donate (especially if you give online), so I hope to inspire others in my generation to cross this off their to-do list.
Hometown: Washington, DC
Current Employment: Special Agent
Major: Political Science/German
Campus Organizations: Club Soccer, ASG, Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Honor Committee, Lamda Sigma, Phi Sigma Iota, Residence Life Advisor, Omicron Delta Kappa
What my Allegheny education means to me: My Allegheny education gave me a strong foundation academically, socially, and morally – and enabled me to develop into a smart, hard-working, and motivated adult ready to contribute to society!
Why I give back: I give back to Allegheny because Allegheny gave me so much. I loved my time on campus, and I’m so thankful I chose to go to Allegheny!
Why I serve as a Class Agent: I passionately believe that most, if not all, can find some way to give back to Allegheny. If not financially, there are so many ways to contribute. Every little bit helps, and I want alumni to know that they don’t have to give more than they’re comfortable with to make a difference.
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Current Employment: French Teacher
Campus Organizations: APO, Admissions, Amnesty International, Lambda Sigma
What my Allegheny education means to me: My time at Allegheny had a huge impact on the person I am today. My experiences within the classroom, but more importantly, everything that I was part of as a member of the Allegheny community outside of structured classes, shaped how I view the world and my role in it.
Why I give back: Allegheny provided me with such wonderful experiences within the classroom and beyond. I try to do my part to help future students have the same, if not better, opportunities that I did.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: I had no idea that so few people supported their alma mater with financial gifts. I hope to help remind people of how much they learned and grew at Allegheny, and to prompt them to give back to an institution that gave them so much.
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Current Employment: Executive Assistant/Financial Services
Major: Studio Art
Campus Organizations: Student Art Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, Intramural Volleyball, Soup Kitchen Volunteer
What my Allegheny education means to me: My Allegheny education gave me the opportunity to study things that interested and engaged me, not simply courses that tracked me for one particular career path. I was able to study what appealed to me, engage my passions, and hone my independent thinking skills, and I see the value of my liberal arts education each and every day. The ability to speak and write well should also never be underestimated!
Why I give back: I give back because I believe in Allegheny’s tradition of high-quality education, and I want to see it continue for many generations to come. Lending my financial support is one of the strongest ways I can “vote” for Allegheny’s continued success in higher education. I also give back because I remember watching my parents contribute to Allegheny’s Annual Fund drives while my sister and I were students. They were already paying tuition and supporting two other children, yet they still felt it important to give back because they could see that we were thriving. They didn’t necessarily have extra to give back then, yet they gave faithfully. This made a lasting impression on me and made me realize that I wanted to practice that same spirit of philanthropy for life – to give back because I believe in what Allegheny did for me and want to see it persevere, thrive, and grow…to give back because of all that I received.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: Being a Class Agent allows me to help try and grow this enthusiasm toward giving within my friends, peers, and former classmates. It enables me to enact change, to foster the spirit of giving, and to help make our class a more philanthropic class in spirit. I want people to realize that it doesn’t matter how big or small a gift is; what matters is that you practice contributing and form that habit of showing your support over a lifetime.
Hometown: Sagamore Hills, OH
Current Employment: Director of College Counseling
Campus Organizations: Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Residence Life Advisor, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society
What my Allegheny education means to me: My educational experience at Allegheny was invaluable. Not only did I learn how to become a better writer and think critically, but my time in the classroom also helped me find my voice. Because class sizes are small and professors encourage participation, I learned to defend and articulate my beliefs and opinions at Allegheny with confidence. This skill has been nothing but helpful in my career and everyday experiences with others.
Why I give back: The transformation I experienced at Allegheny is immeasurable. In addition to becoming better educated, thanks to the wonderful course offerings and professors at Allegheny, I became more confident and self-assured through the various leadership opportunities I was given. I want future generations to say Allegheny changed them, as well. This is why I make it a priority to give back to Allegheny every year.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: In addition to all the wonderful memories I have at Allegheny, perhaps I also bring a unique reason to being a Class Agent. As a director of college counseling, I know the percent of graduates giving back to their alma mater has a direct impact on Allegheny’s ranking in publications like U.S. News & World Report. Since many prospective families consult these publications when it comes time for their children to look at colleges, I want Allegheny to be ranked as high as possible. If I can do anything to help influence those rankings, it would be by encouraging my classmates to donate what they can to Allegheny.
Hometown: Boston, MA
Current Employment: Senior Vice President, Executive Liability / Risk Management Consultant & Broker
Campus Organizations: Varsity Lacrosse, ASG, Habitat for Humanity, Orchesis, Newman Club/Soup Kitchen Volunteer, CLC, AXO
What my Allegheny education means to me: There is a difference between securing your undergraduate degree and receiving an undergraduate education. Allegheny provides the latter. It’s the difference between blending in with the masses or standing out among your peers. Allegheny’s education ensures that you will always stand out in your peer group.
Why I give back: I choose to give to Allegheny so that the opportunities afforded to me, by means of someone else’s generosity, can be paid forward to current students looking to grow on both an intellectual and personal level. I give back so that my favorite professors have the resources to continue their fine tradition of teaching, mentoring, researching, challenging, and inspiring the next generation of graduates to innovate, create, problem-solve, lead, and eventually, give back to the Allegheny community. I give back in the hopes that my small contribution is the difference that permits one high school senior the ability to attend Allegheny by means of scholarship, who, without this financial commitment, could otherwise not afford to attend.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: I look fondly on my years at Allegheny. I am proud of the friendships that have endured over the last 15 years since graduating. I’m proud of the legacy we left and what future generations have created. Allegheny truly is a special place because of the strong sense of community created by those who walk the halls of Bentley to those who walk the hall of Brooks. I serve as a Class Agent to encourage all of my fellow alumni to give back to Allegheny so that we may continue these fine traditions for generations to come.
Hometown: Lyndhurst, OH
Current Employment: Attorney
Major: Philosophy and Political Science
Campus Organizations: Alpha Delta Pi, Model United Nations, Philosophical Club, Allegheny Christian Outreach, Habitat for Humanity
What my Allegheny education means to me: Allegheny allows students to explore their interests and passions – both academic and recreational – and provides support for students to discover interests they never knew they had. Academically, not only did Allegheny’s recognized quality open the door for law school, but I found in law school that my Allegheny education had prepared me for law school in a way that my law school classmates were not. They simply had not spent four years developing their critical-thinking, research, writing, and analytical skills as I had at Allegheny. I joke with some Allegheny classmates who also went to law school that Allegheny was harder than law school, but it is absolutely true. The best part is that those skills were not only utilized in law school, but also every single day.
Why I give back: My Allegheny experience was a wonderful time, and I gained so much. I want future students to have a similar experience. Honestly, Allegheny has given me more than I could ever give back. My friends who made the mistake of attending other colleges keep in touch with one to two people from college. Allegheny friendships are simply stronger, and not just in number. Moreover, it seems that every week, Allegheny is being recognized by another national publication or receives another national award. Every time Allegheny receives another award, Allegheny’s profile expands, and my degree becomes more prominent, as well. As I said, Allegheny has given me more than I could ever give back – I’m just trying to do what I can.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: Allegheny is one of the those rare colleges that is dripping with history, yet keeps up with the times. Obviously, donations are an important part of that. I don’t think enough alumni recognize that even if they cannot give a lot, giving a small amount helps the College immeasurably because the percentage of alumni donors matters. We all loved our time at Allegheny – let’s help future students love Allegheny. I hope to encourage others (some who engaged in those shenanigans with me, others who had their own shenanigans) to give back to the College.
Betsy Murray ’98
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Current Employment: Director of Membership, National Constitution Center
Major: Political Science
What my Allegheny education means to me: It taught me that life is more interesting and fulfilling when you’re open to everything the world has to offer.
Why I give back: I took so much from Allegheny that it only feels right to give something back. It’s my way of paying tribute to the memories I cherish, and it makes me feel that I am helping to support “the making of great memories” for current and future Alleghenians.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: When Allegheny calls, I answer.
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Current Employment: Attorney
Major: Political Science
Campus Organizations: The Campus newspaper, WARC, Student Experimental Theater
What my Allegheny education means to me: The broad liberal arts curriculum at Allegheny exposed me to ideas and topics I might have never explored anywhere else. I was able to study international government, geopolitics, and the literature of those regions all in the same day.
Why I give back: The years I spent at Allegheny were defining in terms of developing into the adult I would become and furthering my non-academic interests. Some of my most treasured friendships to date were formed on campus.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: I always have been proud to list Allegheny on my resume and suggest it to young men and women who are beginning their college searches. I believe Allegheny’s reputation and my association with it always has been an asset in my continuing education and in my career.
Jennifer Daurora ’99
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Current Employment: Business Development Director
Campus Organizations: Honor Code Committee, Alpha Chi Omega, Panhellenic Council, Office of Admissions
What my Allegheny education means to me: My Allegheny education is much more than just a degree. The Allegheny experience stretches far beyond even a typical liberal arts education. The continuous model of learning both inside and outside of the classroom gave me the skills I needed to succeed in the workplace and in life. Looking back, the experience of having professors push you further than you thought possible, failing and succeeding all in the same day while at the same time discovering your own ability to grow – that is pretty powerful!
Why I give back: Allegheny gave so much to me. As an alumna, it is my responsibility to invest in Allegheny so that future students can have as good of an experience, if not a better one, than I did. Additionally, I know that as the College does better, the value of my degree will increase. Having a degree from a highly respected institution is important to me and one reason that I invest in Allegheny.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: Philanthropist is not a million-dollar word. I am serving as a Class Agent to help my generation understand that every gift is important and every gift is critical to the success of the College. Together we can make a difference and help ensure that Allegheny is one of the most sought-after liberal arts colleges in the nation.
Hometown: Broadview Heights, OH
Current Employment: Media Team Leader
Major: Communicaton Arts
Campus Organizations: Kappa Kappa Gamma, AF Phonathon Caller, Allegheny Christian Outreach, Chamber Choir, Choir, Faculty/Student Committee, Institutional Review Board, National Collegiate Leadership, Orchesis, Panhellenic Council, Peer Project Leader, Senior Class Gift Committee, Senior Class Officers, Student Experimental Theater, Student Government, Student Orientation Advisor, Women’s Ensemble
What my Allegheny education means to me: My Allegheny education means more to me than words can say. I learned more than just facts. I learned to think critically and with empathy. My education was beyond the classroom. The nurturing environment allowed me to pursue my passions through performance, politics, and philanthropy.
Why I give back: I give to enable other students to have a meaningful experience just as I did, and giving back helps me maintain my connection with a place so dear to me. The value I received from those who dedicated their time and gave financially for me to experience Allegheny is immeasurable.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: Allegheny develops the youth of today into tomorrow’s leaders. I celebrate the institution that gave so much to me. I want to help bring awareness to how important it is to support our alma mater and that any financial support enhances Allegheny’s profile.
Hometown: Brasilia, Brazil
Current Employment: Intelligence Analyst/Principal with SRA International
Major: Environmental Science
Campus Organizations: Alpha Chi Omega, Panhellenic Council, Annual Fund Volunteer
What my Allegheny education means to me: I truly value my Allegheny education. For me, the class sizes and personal interactions with the professors created a wonderful learning environment. The challenges of the coursework and the opportunities to work both independently and within teams provided valuable experience that carried me through graduate school and into the professional world.
Why I give back: With all the options of institutions and organizations to donate to, I choose Allegheny because of the positive impact it had upon my life, and I want current and future students to have the same opportunity. Allegheny provided me with the foundation upon which I have built a successful professional career. And although my career path has steered away from my major of environmental science, I am excited to see Allegheny actively demonstrate its commitment to the environment and sustainability.
Why I serve as a Class Agent: I am proud to be an Allegheny alum. Living abroad, I appreciate the opportunities and experiences that have influenced my life. As a Class Agent, I hope to reconnect with classmates and continue to give back to an institution that has shaped so many lives.