Meet our Challenge Donors:


Roz Hewsenian

Roz Hewsenian '75

Since completing her degree in elementary education, Roz has taken the financial world by storm as an industry leader in the investment field. Roz is a Chief Investment Officer who manages a multi-billion dollar portfolio for the Helmsley Trust, which is a catalyst for healthcare and other initiatives within the United States and around the world.

Roz is an Alumni of Distinction honoree and a 2017 SUNY Honorary Doctorate candidate. She has established three scholarships in honor of her grandparents and her parents. Roz has given back generously to help students who need financial assistance, just as she needed help while she was a student. Roz believes in working hard to achieve your dreams and to pursue all opportunities; as such, she has agreed to be a challenge donor to inspire others to help the next generation reach greatness.


Dorothy Lawson

Dorothy Lawson '57

Dottie, originally from Brooklyn, credits her parents for her SUNY Oneonta education and her fulfilling teaching career. Their sacrifices and dedication made it possible for Dottie to attend SUNY Oneonta and become a kindergarten teacher at Valleyview Elementary School in Oneonta, where Dottie taught for 37 years. Knowing the pressures that financial need can have on students, it was important to Dottie to help students like herself afford a SUNY Oneonta education. Because of this, Dottie established her endowed scholarship in 2010 for students with financial need.

Dottie believes strongly in SUNY Oneonta and the education that students receive here. She made her Challenge Gift for the Day of Giving to inspire other SUNY Oneonta alumni to support their alma mater and assist today’s students.



Mike Brophy

Mike Brophy '73

From an early age, Mike Brophy ’73 knew he wanted to become a lawyer. Reflecting on an accomplished career, Mike attributes much of his law school and career preparedness to the four-years spent earning a Political Science degree at Oneonta. “My professors taught me a mental discipline and motivated me to participate in extracurricular activities that provided a truly remarkable and well-rounded college experience”, said Mike. Currently, Mike has an active litigation practice with Goldberg Segalla LLP, serving a broad range of clients in professional liability, products liability and general litigation matters. When asked about giving back to his undergraduate alma mater, he shared, “I recognize the demonstrable need for financial support among the college's student body. That is why I am motivated to give back to the college and the community that did so much for me at the same time in my life. My years at SUNY Oneonta were four of the happiest and most fulfilling of my life.” Mike summarizes his years at Oneonta with the motto from the State University of New York seal: Let each become all that they are capable of.


Marylin Searby

Marylin Ripperger Searby ’51

Marylin Ripperger Searby graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 1951 with a degree in Education. Following graduation, Marylin had a very fulfilling 34-year career in education on Long Island, with 12 years in the classroom and the rest in education administration. She married Arthur Searby, and they enjoyed their very active lifestyle including world travel until his passing in 2014. Marylin currently resides in Wilmington, NC.

Marylin is very grateful for her Oneonta degree and what it has meant to her, and encourages other alumni to give back. “I feel I received a very fine education and it helped me tremendously in my career. Think about how you have benefitted from your Oneonta education, and make a gift to help assist today’s students.”




David Frick Headshot

David Frick '77

David Frick ’77 enrolled at SUNY Oneonta intending to study political science but switched to Economics when he realized that world events were driven as much by business as by politics. His education changed his life. David moved to the Boston area in 1978 and held positions at NCR, Diebold, Applied Communications and the Amherst Group before being a co-founder and President in 1993 of Transaction Resources, Inc. providing payment processing services to merchants including resort, restaurant, retail, lodging, and e-commerce companies.

Before COVID-19, David and his wife, Nancy, made several trips to Haiti to build homes for the homeless and continue to contribute their time and resources to their community and numerous nonprofit organizations. David and Nancy reside in Amesbury, MA and have three children.

“The world today faces many challenges and needs upcoming stars. We believe those future leaders come from all walks of life and we want to help those people attain a college education to achieve their dreams and solve the problems we face. We are sure you too want to help in securing a better future for all of us.”



Capek Family

The Capek Family

Frank ’82, Tom ’85, George ’86, and Rebecca ’11 Capek can’t think of anything more important than giving back to the future generations of students. “The impact that you can make on one person and helping them see their dreams and goals come true is amazing to be a part of”, said Rebecca. A legacy family, the Capek’s have each found success in their own, unique careers. One thing that holds true for all four is the personal and professional successes they attribute to their Oneonta educations. “We learned how to learn, we learned how to solve problems, we learned how important it is to work on a team, and we learned from each other,” said Tom.

Through their family foundation, the Capek’s have endowed the Capek Family Scholarship for STEAM Students. Today, they have generously offered a $10,000 challenge gift with hopes that fellow Red Dragons will join them in supporting Oneonta students.