The Richmond Fund was created by Diana Gazzolo ’78 and Marcie Harmon-Mackin ’76 to help AOP students with term abroad expenses. Studying abroad changes lives, but the cost of plane fare and pocket money can make it challenging to take advantage of such wonderful experiences.
Diana studied political science and psychology at Union College and holds a “Ph.D. from the school of hard knocks.” She is principal at Martin Grant Associates, Inc. and resides in Boston, Mass.
“I am the only person to graduate from the AOP program from my Class of 1978. As a student of the AOP program, I wanted to find a way to give back to the program specifically. It was natural for me to honor Marcie when I made my gift. She really helped me stay in school. Marcie was my roommate freshman year. She was a junior and decided to take in a stray freshman like me. I know firsthand how valuable it is to have someone believe you can do something and then show you how to do it. I wanted to honor her and support the AOP program.”
Marcie studied modern languages at Union College before earning an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Retired from Temple University, she lives in Wynnewood, Penn.
“My exposure to AOP came from Diana, my Richmond Hall roommate and longtime friend.
At Union, I was fortunate enough to spend three terms abroad—including one in Seville, Spain, with Diana—and I appreciate the extraordinary educational and life-enriching value of those experiences. I am proud and thankful to be associated with a scholarship that helps provide that opportunity to students who might not otherwise be able to benefit from those special programs.”
Recipient Aleksandra Szumilo ’21
Aleks is an organizing theme major (engineering, film studies and digital art) who hopes to work in a creative position in media and entertainment industries after graduation. She lives in New York City and Warsaw, Poland.
“I’ll be forever grateful for the endless support I have received through scholarships and the HEOP/AOP program. I know that without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. During summer 2020, with the support of alumni, I completed graphic design certification through Coursera. That later helped me land a remote video production internship in fall 2020. The generous support I received also helped me get new glasses when my vision got worse. It helped me with the costs of traveling home. It made it possible for my younger sister to become a Dutchwoman in fall 2019, also through the HEOP/AOP program. Knowing that we can pursue our deepest dreams without worrying about the costs is amazing. It motivates me every day to stay humble and work hard. Thank you alumni for all of your generous support!”
To learn more about the AOP/HEOP Family Endowed Fund or The Richmond Fund, contact Steve Jo, senior director for Leadership Giving at firstname.lastname@example.org or (267) 797-4342.