SUNY Oswego this fall awarded the inaugural Nunzio "Nick" C. and Lorraine E. Marano Scholarships, easing the financial burdens of 62 first-generation college students.

Lorraine Marano, who died Oct. 1, 2013, made a historic bequest of $7.5 million to the college on her and her late husband's behalf. In recognition of her generous gift and community spirit, the State University of New York approved naming SUNY Oswego's campus center facility, the Marano Campus Center. 

The Scriba family's gift established an endowment that is funding annually 62 scholarships of $5,000 each. The scholarships are awarded to first-generation students with financial need and are renewable as long as the student maintains a 3.0 GPA.

One of the recipients, junior transfer Rwanda Douglas, said she was thrilled to learn she'd be receiving a Marano Scholarship.

"To be noticed for my hard work really makes me feel good and motivates me," she said, adding that the $5,000 scholarship will go a long way in lightening the financial burden for her and her parents.

Another Marano Scholar, junior Zakary Haines, said he is grateful to the Maranos. It has provided him a boost financially as well as mentally.

"When I heard that I received the scholarship, I was very excited," said Haines, who hopes to make TV shows and movies in Hollywood someday. "It lifts some of the burden of student loans and I don't have to worry as much. If Mr. and Mrs. Marano were still alive, I would like to tell them, 'Thank you!'"

Lorraine Marano's close friend, Theresa Scanlon, who met some of the scholarship recipients during a Scholars Breakfast in the Sheldon Hall Ballroom during Homecoming 2017, said, "Lorraine would be very proud of these students. She believed in the value of higher education and its role as the foundation for future success. She would be happy to know that these students are furthering their education so that they can have a productive future."

Scanlon said Lorraine wanted to ease the students' financial worries so they could focus more on their studies and excel.

"She would have been so very honored to meet these students and happy that she had the opportunity to help them," Scanlon said.

Lorraine Marano graduated from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey) with a bachelor's degree, Drexel University with a master's degree and the accelerated paralegal program at Syracuse University. She worked for many years as a librarian at Cherry Hill High School East in New Jersey, and then worked for Resorts International and Tropicana Casinos in Atlantic City.

The couple operated a prosperous agricultural business on a muck farm in Scriba, and both were active in Sacred Heart Church in Scriba. Nick owned Marano Vacuum Cooling and Sales Inc. and held a seat on the New York Mercantile Exchange until his death in 2002.

For more information on the Marano Scholars and other scholarship opportunities at SUNY Oswego, visit