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A
fter 11 years of marriage, the romantic
spark is still there for Aaron and Nancy
Marcus.OnOct. 16, 2010, Aaron surprisedhis
wife with a unique and touching anniversary
gift. But frst, there’s a back story.
NancyMcAllistermetAaronMarcusonher
frst day of work as a legal assistant at Goldman
Sachs. It was May 1994, and she sat two desks
away from him in their New York City offce.
Nancy had graduated from Marist in 1991,
where she majored in Spanish and played
three years on the women’s volleyball varsity
as an outside hitter. (She took a leave from the
team in her junior year to study in Madrid.)
One of Nancy’s classmates, Tom Hanna
’91, was her team’s assistant coach and the
organizer of the men’s volleyball club. A close-
knit group of women’s and men’s volleyball
players, which included Nancy and Tom,
developed; and over the years, as spouses and
children became part of everyone’s lives, the
Marist friendships endured.
Philanthropy
Winning Nancy’s Heart
Now the parents of Gabriela and Jackson,
NancyandAaronhavebeen living inCalifornia
for the past three years and will soon move
their family to Austin, Texas. Their friendship
with Tom and his wife, Kristin (they are the
parents of Caroline and Jillian), extends to a
perpetual interest inhowtheMarist’swomen’s
volleyball program is doing. Today no one is
more qualifed to report on that than Tom,
whowas namedMarist’s headvolleyball coach
in June 2006.
Last July, as theMarcuses’ next anniversary
was approaching, Aaron wanted to give his
wife something special. In thinking about
the ongoing support he provides to his alma
mater, Brown, in the form of a full four-year
scholarship for a student with fnancial need,
Aaron decided to establish a scholarship in
Nancy’s honor at her alma mater and in the
sport that she loves, volleyball. Behind-the-
scenes work began in the Marist Athletics and
CollegeAdvancementoffces,withinstructions
from Aaron to keep it all a secret.
Inmid-October, theMarcuses fewtoNew
YorkCity for aweekendanniversary trip. Their
frst stopwas tocatchCoachHanna’sRedFoxes
triumphing over Manhattan’s Jaspers on the
rival’s Riverside campus. But the Marcuses’
farewell to Coach Hanna was short-lived.
Unknown to Nancy, Aaron would soon escort
her to a post-game dinner with the team.
The surprise of seeing 13 Red Fox dinner
companions (plus coaches) was decidedly
topped by Aaron’s announcement to his wife
of his anniversary gift—the establishment of
the Nancy McAllister Marcus ’91 Volleyball
Scholarship. As a memento of the occasion, a
framed volleyball jersey withNancy’s number
(17) was presented to her. The inscription
honoring her prominently notes: “The First
Athletic Scholarship Named for an Alumna.”
“I had no idea what Aaron planned for our
anniversary and could not have been more
surprised,” Nancy says. “Aaron never ceases
to amaze me with his generosity, especially
when it comes to things we are passionate
about. I had just said to him earlier that day
how lucky I felt to have been part of the Marist
volleyball team.
“It was where I made some of my closest
friendships and I couldn’t imagine having
enjoyed the college experience without the
support system of Tom, then a good friend
and the assistant coach, and the team. I am
honored to have my name on a scholarship
at Marist that will help the volleyball team
continue to be successful in the years to come.
Go Red Foxes!”
When the $100,000 gift was announced
by the College, Aaron said, “We are delighted
to invest in Coach Hanna and the women’s
volleyball program. Over the past fve years,
Coach Hanna has built a frst-class program.
Our gift is designed to help him continue to
builda traditionof excellencebothon the court
and in the classroom. We truly hope that our
gift will encourage others to make signifcant
contributions to the women’s volleyball team
specifcally, and to Marist athletics generally.”
TheMarcuses’ contributionwill initiate an
endowment to sustain the scholarship in the
years ahead and also underwrite a four-year
scholarship for a 2012 incoming freshman
volleyball player.
“We are humbled and honored by this
generous gift and commitment to our pro-
gram,” says Coach Hanna. “We appreciate
Aaron and Nancy’s unparalleled commitment
to volleyball at Marist College and their belief
in the direction of the program.”
As of last October, tennis isn’t the only
intercollegiate sport at Marist where love is
part of the game.
n
B Y S H A I L E E N K O P E C
Shaileen Kopec is Marist’s senior development
offcer for planned giving and endowment support.
The 2010-11 Marist volleyball team, coached by TomHanna ’91 (back row), gathered after defeat-
ingManhattan inNewYork City to join an anniversary celebration for Aaron andNancyMcAllister
Marcus ’91 (front row, center). To commemorate Nancy’s years on the team, Aaron established the
Nancy McAllister Marcus ’91 Volleyball Scholarship, the first athletic scholarship to be named for
an alumna.
Aaron Marcus called on the Marist Athletics and College Advancement ofces to help
him surprise his wife, Nancy McAllister ’91, with a very special anniversary present.
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M A R I S T M A G A Z I N E