A Syracuse University alumnus and U.S. Navy veteran is donating $20 million to support the construction of the National Veterans Resource Center on campus. Site preparation is underway on the $62.5 million project.
The gift from life trustee Daniel D’Aniello, '68, and his wife Gayle is one of the largest in University history. The veterans resource center will be the first of its kind in the country, and will bring together SU’s numerous veteran-connected programs under one roof. Vice Chancellor and director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families Mike Haynie says D’Aniello seems to understand that what SU is trying to do now is similar what it did more than 70 years ago for World War II veterans. He says the unprecedented move ballooned the university's enrollment from 4,000 to 17,000 in just two years.
"That generation of veterans really transformed Syracuse University into the institution that we all know today. Dan also recognizes that history, and recognizes we have the opportunity to make ourselves better again by opening our doors to this generation of veterans."
Haynie says D’Aniello attributes his success as an entrepreneur to his time at SU. D'Aniello is co-founder and chairman emeritus of The Carlyle Group.
"He came here and found people who pulled him up and set him on a path of success. He sees this gift as an opportunity for that same outcome to be realized by many other young men and women that are like Dan, that they come here looking to change the trajectory of their lives."
And Haynie says that’s just what the IVMF has done for thousands of veterans through its Onward to Opportunity career transition program, which starts with skills and vocational training.
"With a partnership of about 200 private sector employers, we created a bridge from those educational programs to employment opportunities. Already from that program alone, just about 8,000 transitioning military members have been placed into civilian employment."
He says the new resource center will allow them to expand the program as part of a larger academic hub focused on the social and economic wellness of the nation's 23 million veterans and their families. Haynie hopes to cut the ribbon in spring of 2020.