Daniel E. Somers

MILLION DOLLAR GIFT

In 2005, Dan Somers '69, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, became the second graduate in College history to make a $1 million gift. "I strongly believe in giving rather than receiving," says Somers, vice chairman of the Board of Blaylock & Partners. "I've been successful in my life and have good fundamental values. I give Stonehill a lot of credit for both."

It was a letter from then Stonehill President Bartley MacPháidín, C.S.C. '59 that did it for him. "I started at AT&T as chief financial officer in 1997, after living abroad for 17 years," recalls Somers.

"When I walked into my new office, I saw a letter from Bartley, congratulating me on my new position and reminding me that now that I was back in the country, it was time to get involved with Stonehill."

Somers heeded Fr. MacPháidín's advice and paid a visit to the College that summer. "I was struck by how much the College had blossomed. I saw a beautiful campus, met smart, interesting students, and found an institution that was giving thoughtful attention to the right things," he recollects.

The next thing Somers knew, he was serving on the Board of Trustees and as an Executive-in-Residence to the Business Administration Department.

In 2002, Somers became vice chair of the Board of Trustees and, for the next two years, concurrently chaired the Annual Fund. "Chairing the Annual Fund was fun," he remembers.

Somers and his wife, Mary Jane, have hosted alumni events and receptions in and around their homes in Summit, New Jersey, and Vero Beach, Florida. "My wife graduated from Canadian universities, but she loves coming to Stonehill. Even though Mary Jane is not a graduate, she can see the magic in the place," he says.

"It's fun to see the school get better and better as time goes on. Stonehill isn't content to rest on its laurels. It's broadening its programs, strengthening its core. And just look at the results."

The College's growth, its firm sense of purpose, and its success are in large part what inspired Somers to make his recent $1 million gift. "Stonehill is the right cause," he explains. "Giving to Stonehill is the best return on investment you'll find anywhere."