The SUNY Oswego College Council on June 6 approved honoring the Maranos with a named facility in recognition of Lorraine Marano's generous community spirit and $7.5 million gift to the college, the largest private donation in the college's 153-year history. The council's action required SUNY board of trustees approval.
"The Marano legacy at SUNY Oswego illustrates how integral our campuses are to the cultural vibrancy and economic vitality of their communities," SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall said. "We are proud to have the Campus Center at Oswego, a facility that engages the community in many ways, bear the names of Nunzio and Lorraine Marano."
The Marano gift established the Nunzio "Nick" and Lorraine Marano Endowment at SUNY Oswego to be used primarily to fund scholarships for students with financial need, especially those who are the first in their families to attend college.
"Lorraine's wish was to support, strengthen and celebrate SUNY Oswego and its relationship to the entire community," Theresa Scanlon, the trustee for the Lorraine Marano estate said. "She loved the vitality of community life, and she demonstrated enthusiasm for events in the arts, culture and athletics. She would be delighted to have the Marano name on the complex that serves as the nexus for these and other vibrant activities at SUNY Oswego."
The Campus Center is a major daily gathering place for students, faculty and staff and also for members of the surrounding community, families of students and visitors from far and wide on many occasions, from commencement to ice hockey games. Concerts, lecture series, athletic and social events, exhibits, science competitions and conferences draw members of the public to this facility in the heart of SUNY Oswego's campus year round.
"Through its approval, the College Council demonstrated that the generous gift to SUNY Oswego in Lorraine Marano's estate, and especially the sentiment behind the gift, were worthy of naming this signature campus building in honor of the Maranos," College Council Chairman James McMahon said.
"Recognizing the Maranos in this way helps ensure that everyone who enters the facility will have an awareness and appreciation of their family legacy and raises the profile of philanthropy at Oswego," SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said.
The Campus Center was completed in 2007 at a cost of $58 million. The composite 341,000-square-foot facility encompasses both new construction and two previously existing buildings, the former Swetman and Poucher halls. The complex includes a convocation hall and arena, the College Store, an activity and food court, offices of Student Affairs staff and student government and affiliated organizations, and offices and classrooms for the college's humanities disciplines and Office of Learning Services.
The arena is a 2,500-seat venue for Oswego's Division III ice hockey programs as well as community hockey events, college club hockey teams and the Ice Effects figure skating team. As a convocation hall, the same space accommodates more than 3,000 people for commencement and other formal academic ceremonies as well as concerts, lectures and fairs.
Lorraine and Nick Marano had a prosperous agricultural business located in a farming community near the college. A Scriba native, Nick had an early career in banking and finance and later owned Marano Vacuum Cooling and Sales Inc. in Scriba and held a seat on the New York Mercantile Exchange until his death in 2002.
Originally from Philadelphia, Lorraine Marano had degrees from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.) and Drexel University. She worked many years as a high school librarian. She died Oct. 1, 2013.