I did it to help bring a Bucknell education into reach for others who come from middle-class backgrounds like mine.
As a first-generation college student, Linda Todisco Dunne '81, P'11, P'15 never took for granted the financial aid she received from Bucknell, or the sacrifices her parents made to send her here.
"My older brothers were in school at the same time as me — one was a sophomore, one was a senior — and there's no way any of us would have gone to the schools we went to without financial aid. It opened up a whole new world to me."
An accounting major, Dunne says the Bucknell education her financial aid unlocked set her on the path to a successful career as a certified public accountant. It also kicked off a lifelong connection with the University that deepened when her two daughters, Caroline '11 and Mel '15, also chose Bucknell.
"We love the personal attention — you can make a home there, as opposed to feeling like you’re part of a gigantic institution," she says. "We like the small class sizes, the easy access to professors, and the community spirit above all."
Today, the scholarship Dunne supports with her husband, Michael, makes those experiences possible for new generations of Bucknell students. Named for her parents, the Vito & Elvira Todisco Annual Scholarship supports a student with financial need for four years.
"I did it to help bring a Bucknell education into reach for others who come from middle-class backgrounds like mine," Dunne says. "It feels good to give directly to the students and giving more students an opportunity to go there."
Dunne has renewed her scholarship several times to support new students, and she encourages other Bucknellians to explore establishing their own named scholarships. It may be more financially within reach than they think, she notes.
"I think sometimes people hear that you have a scholarship in your name, and think we’re paying someone’s full tuition every year," Dunne says. "It doesn’t have to be that much of a contribution — any extra financial aid can be really helpful to someone."
Scholarships and financial aid are Bucknell’s No. 1 fundraising priority.