In October, a roast for BU hockey coach Jack Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97) was part of an event that not only celebrated the dedication of the Agganis Arena ice rink in his name, but also marked the launching of the Terrier Pride Scholarship Program. The first scholarship, named after the late standout BU athlete and Red Sox first baseman Harry Agganis (SED’54), was presented to men’s hockey forward Pete MacArthur.
The gala helped raise $1.2 million for the program, which provides vital support to Terrier student athletes. Since then, four other Terrier Pride Scholarship funds have been established thanks to the generosity of Mary Buletza (SMG’80), Emil Solimine, Jill and Clifford Viner, and Ruth and David Waronker (SMG’84).
“These individuals, along with a number of others who have contributed to the general athletic scholarship fund, see value in our athletic program in that it presents opportunities for young people to achieve both athletically and academically,” says Mike Lynch, vice president and director of athletics. “We’re very grateful to them for their willingness to step forward in such a leading way to help us increase the number of athletic scholarships that are available at the University.”
Agganis’ nephew Michael Agganis (SED’67), who with his family established the Harry Agganis Scholarship for students from the School of Education, says that he wanted to honor his uncle, who died from a pulmonary embolism at age 25 during his second season with the Red Sox. “He was a role model for young people,” says Agganis, a native of Lynn. “His family, his friends, and his community came first.”
The owner of the Akron (Ohio) Aeros, the Eastern League AA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, Agganis has contributed to numerous educational and community-based projects, including the Coming Together Project to improve race relations in Akron.
Agganis says he also wants to help BU students, pointing out that MacArthur (SED’08) is “a great student and a great athlete” whose star is rising. Last year he was the top freshman scorer in Hockey East. MacArthur certainly has a knack for finding the net — he currently leads the team in points, and he has scored some big goals. Last season he bagged the game-winner in Agganis Arena’s inaugural game against top-ranked Minnesota. He also scored the winning goal against Boston College in this year’s Beanpot championship game. That goal, along with an assist, earned him the tournament’s MVP award.
The other endowed Terrier Pride Scholarship funds are:
• The Mary C. Buletza Scholarship Fund, established by Mary Buletza, a 1980 SMG graduate, will aid women student athletes. Buletza, a New Jersey accountant, has also supported scholarship funds for SMG, the BU Pep Band, and the Friends of the Elliot H. Cole Academic Support Center.
• Women student athletes will also be the beneficiaries of the E. J. Solimine Scholarship Fund. Emil Solimine, who established the fund, is the father of a BU student and is the president of the insurance agency Emar Group, Inc., in Livingston, N.J.
• The Jill and Clifford Viner Family Scholarship Fund was established by Jill and Clifford Viner, parents of a BU student. Clifford Viner, a partner in AVM Properties, a real estate company in West Palm Beach, Fla., is one of 11 owners of the NHL’s Florida Panthers. The Viners also provide philanthropic support to medical research, health programs, and human services. In 1998, they established Camp Breakaway in Maine, which enables underprivileged children to attend summer camp.
• The Ruth and David Waronker Scholarship Fund, established by David Waronker, a 1984 graduate of SMG, and his wife, Ruth, will provide scholarships for female student athletes. David Waronker is president and CEO of the CBD Development Group, Inc., a real estate development, investment, and building company in Celebration, Fla. He is also the owner of the Florida Seals, a team in the Southern Professional Hockey League. Waronker is an active volunteer member of such charities as the Children’s Miracle Network and the American Cancer Society. Since 1997 his company has run a nonprofit called Hockey 4 Kids, which introduces disadvantaged and disabled children to the sport.
For more information on the Terrier Pride Scholarship program, click here or call 617-358-3008.