Joe McElligott spent four years at Trinity-Pawling on scholarship. McElligott discovered later that his benefactor was Stretch Gardiner ’40. “If it weren’t for Mr. Gardiner, I never would have been able to complete four years at T-P.”
This fall, the Joseph B. McElligott IV ’02 Endowed Scholarship Fund was established, specifically to assist young men who would be unable to return for their senior year due to financial pressures. “I wanted to help kids fulfill their dream of graduating from Trinity-Pawling,” McElligott explained. “Financial hardship can strike a family at any time, and creating this scholarship allows me to actually make a difference.”
McElligott’s connection to Stretch Gardiner had deeper roots than he had realized. “Stretch was very involved in the Boys Club of New York, and I had been shaped by that organization starting in elementary school. I made the Boys Club basketball travel team in 8th grade and that’s how I found my way to T-P.”
Gardiner became a mentor to McElligott who has worked on Wall Street since graduating from Wesleyan in 2006. The 35-year old alum now models his philanthropy after Gardiner’s example. “I learned to give back after I started joining boards of several nonprofits. I work my butt off to make money not for myself but to use it to help others. I was the recipient of a generous scholarship, and now I want to provide the same opportunity so other boys like me can succeed.”
By cutting that check to Trinity-Pawling, McElligott believes he can have a tangible impact on a young man’s future and honor the institution that shaped him. “The Advancement Office has said I’m the youngest alum to establish an endowed scholarship fund, but quite honestly, that’s a record I sincerely hope will be broken. I encourage my alumni brothers who have the ability to step up and do the same. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to give back to this school which gave me so much. T-P taught me to set high goals and work diligently to achieve them. My goal is to help others, so I’m headed in the right direction.”
The School tips its hat to you, Joe! Thanks for helping other young men achieve their dream.
by Maria Buteux Reade