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Inspiring Students to Follow Their Dreams

Eileen Graziani and Rosemary Chapman

Eileen Graziani and Rosemary Chapman (1978)

For nearly four decades Rosemary S. Chapman's signature smile and kind demeanor brightened St. Joseph's Brooklyn's Office of Admissions.

To this day, James Gigliello, Ph.D., who earned a bachelor's in psychology from St. Joseph's Brooklyn in 1978, recalls popping in her office to say "hello", one of his favorite college memories.

"She was just a wonderful person to talk with," said Dr. Gigliello, a longtime psychologist who recently joined the ranks of St. Joseph's Online faculty. "There are not many people out there like that anymore. I've never heard her say one cross thing about anyone. She would raise her eyes, but she never said anything."

Ms. Chapman was constantly connecting with and inspiring students during her 38-year career at St. Joseph's University. Shortly before her death in 2006, Ms. Chapman asked her daughter Rosemary A. Belke to help her establish a scholarship at St. Joseph's so she could support students on their educational journeys in perpetuity.

Ms. Belke opened the scholarship fund, following her mother's wishes, which is gifted annually to an St. Joseph's Brooklyn student committed to furthering his or her education on a full- or part-time basis.

Dr. Gigliello said he's not surprised Ms. Chapman established the scholarship fund, explaining that she was one of the biggest supporters of his academic career when he arrived at St. Joseph's. He noted that he wasn't a strong student in high school, but Ms. Chapman demonstrated unconditional faith that he would find academic success.

Rosemary Chapman with the Administrative secretarial staff

Rosemary Chapman, Mary E. Abadess and Agnes Hall, Administrative secretarial staff

Her instinct to encourage Dr. Gigliello to stick to his intellectual values ultimately paid off. After graduating from St. Joseph's Brooklyn, he continued climbing the academic ladder and eventually earned a doctorate in psychology.

Today Dr. Gigliello lives in Florida. He has been published in medical journals and has begun teaching an St. Joseph's Online course this semester.

"I chose to teach at St. Joseph's because I wanted to pay it forward to the school that gave me a chance," Dr. Gigliello said. "If it wasn't for St. Joe's and Rosemary Chapman I wouldn't have made it this far."

Ms. Chapman's passion for helping St. Joseph's students follow their dreams is kept alive through her scholarship fund.

Charnelle Campbell, a 2010 St. Joseph's Brooklyn graduate and the first student to receive the scholarship, said she was grateful for the award and all the opportunities it afforded her. While studying human relations, Ms. Campbell had the unique opportunity to be the public relations coordinator for a summer conference, presented by the U.S. Federation of Congregations of the Sisters of St. Joseph's United Nations-Non-Governmental Organization (UN-NGO) Ministry. She was responsible for maintaining a line of communication between the event staff and the participants.

"It's a blessing when someone donates to St. Joseph's so students like me can accomplish their goals," said Ms. Campbell, who was heavily involved in Student Life clubs and activities during her time at St. Joseph's. "This scholarship affected my life in the present and the future by allowing me to receive a college education."

You, like Ms. Chapman, can continue your support for St. Joseph's for generations to come by funding a scholarship with a gift in your estate plan. Contact Susan Loucks at 718.940.5564 or to get started.