Donor Stories

Stephen Cassiani ’63 retired in 2009 as the President of Exxon Mobil’s research company. He and his wife established the Stephen and Carol Cassiani Scholarship at Spellman. Reflecting back on his time on campus as a member of the school’s second freshman class, Steve remembered experiencing the newness of the chapel, the gym, the auditorium and cafeteria. Spellman sparked Steve’s interest in the sciences and he went on to graduate from with a bachelor’s degree in geology and masters in geophysics from Boston College. He began his career at Exxon Mobil in 1969.

“Experiencing the dedication of the Spellman faculty, mostly the Sisters at the time, to learning as well as to the growth of the individual as an experience has served me well to this day. There is no doubt in my mind that the four years of Catholic school education at Spellman instilled in me values that are as true today as they were then. It starts with dedication towards doing the best you can with everything you do.

The importance of respecting others and their opinions was part of the school culture and you can only imagine how important that became in my work in a major corporation. But paramount is personal integrity or as one of my early career mentors would say – doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Without appearing to sermonize it, this value is sadly missing in too many segments of society today. It is my hope, and belief, that the importance of personal integrity is still being emphasized today in both the formal and informal curricula at Cardinal Spellman.

A Spellman education quite likely gave me a jumpstart to what has been an exciting and rewarding life. I know there are many Spellman students who have the potential to have a similar outcome. That said, it is also likely a fact that many of those students may be from hard working families who despite their efforts may have difficulty meeting the financial demands of the quality education that Spellman provides. My wife Carol and I , wanted to help academically capable students who otherwise might not be able to experience what Spellman has to offer, stay at Spellman and be inspired to be all they can be. We are quite impressed by the young men and women who have received support from the scholarship and we are hopeful that they will go on to inspire others. “