Stephen K. Trynosky
49 mins ·
So, now we have a giving Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Well, Manhattan College just asked for money, again. This is my reply .
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I have thought long and hard over the past few years about “giving” to Manhattan. As a graduate of the Prep and the College, I realize the wonderful, affordable education I received from 1960 through 1968. Manhattan was the “step up” for myself and my classmates from the Prep. We, the children of predominantly blue collar low to moderate income workers broke free with that education and it is appreciated. Over the past decades, I have seen Manhattan’s tuition skyrocket.
If I, an old Washington Heights boy were suddenly transported from 1965 to 2015, in the same circumstances with a mother working part time and a father working as a bartender for a major hotel in the city . Manhattan would have been out of my reach, far out of my reach. I have re- evaluated things. I am a product of the Catholic School system and proud of it. Over the years I have watched the grammar schools struggle and die while places like Manhattan just keep on building new buildings for less students than they had in my era. The schools that got us off the streets and drilled us to become successful disappear, one after another year after year while Manhattan doubles and then triples the size of its administrative staff. The memories of the good nuns and brothers who educated us are with me as if it were yesterday yet I see those who are left struggle in retirement as the cost of a four year education at a “Catholic” college or University goes north of $ 200,000.
This year as I have for the past three, I will give the gift of education. I intend to bundle every educational gift I have made in the past to Manhattan, St. Joseph’s, St. Peters, Don Bosco High School, St. Peters Prep into one gift, then double it and send it off to somewhere it is needed, badly. In this case, Incarnation School at 175th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Washington Heights. There, they continue to educate the children of low and moderate income predominantly Dominican families who have replaced my generation. Perhaps someday, those very children will be able to compete for the few available, affordable spaces at places like Manhattan.
Cardinal Dolan, who said Mass at our 50th Grammar School reunion a few years back told an anecdote about being accosted at a building dedication on a college campus (Manhattan?). An alum, badgered him first about the huge donation (millions and millions) he had made to build this edifice. Then about the Cardinal closing his former grammar school. The Cardinal turned and said, “Had you taken one of those millions and given it to the school that gave you a start in life, it never would have closed.” That story was an eye opener for me. I only wish that I had a million to give.
So, it is with some regret that I decline the offer to contribute to Manhattan. There are places, more important, that need it much more.
Stephen K. Trynosky ‘68
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