Gary S. Plano, Ed.D. ’04

Advocate for Diversity

Gary S. Plano, Ed.D. ’04For Gary Plano, Ed.D. ’04, Seton Hall was a place where he could fully pursue his dreams of completing his doctoral studies while continuing to develop academically and personally. The opportunities provided by his Doctor of Education degree and the connections formed during his time as a student in the program inspired Gary to give back.

"Seton Hall and the doctoral program were a beacon of light for me during the fall of 2001 when I was considering pursuing a program of doctoral studies,” Gary said.  “That beacon of light helped illuminate the amazing professors and graduate students who, like me, were working administrators in schools across many states and needed hope at a time in our country when things looked bleak.”

After the tragic attacks on 9/11, Seton Hall served as a healing space and institution for hope and change for many, including Gary. The impactful friendships inside and outside the classroom were crucial in his success and completion of the program.

“Following my retirement from education, I thought about how the relationships at Seton Hall supported and sustained me in my studies. I wanted to give back to the Seton Hall community in some meaningful way.”

The camaraderie, inspiration, rigorous academic research and thoughtful and inspiring professors and guest lecturers created a unique doctoral experience for Gary that he cherishes to this day. These factors helped when deciding to create the Gary Plano Endowed Fellowship Fund. Gary has added Seton Hall to his estate plans with this fund. He intends on giving back to students who most need the financial support to complete their Doctorate of Education degrees in the College of Education and Human Services. Gary reflected on the student body and his peers when asked why he chose to leave behind such an impactful gift to Seton Hall.

“The diversity of Seton Hall was the single most important factor in my decision to make a planned gift.”

Indeed, the University is known for welcoming students of all stripes, with 48 percent of the student body identifying as people of color. The current freshmen class is comprised of 33 percent first-generation students.

Gary believes that gift will serve future students who need the extra support to become world-class thought leaders and educators. He stated, “I hope my gift will help other students like me who needed an ‘extra helping hand’ to catapult me to the next level of my education and career path.”

At a Glance: Bequests

  • Charitable bequests are made by naming Seton Hall as a beneficiary in your will or living trust. This type of gift does not affect your cash flow.
  • Your assets remain in your control during your lifetime. You can modify your gift at any time should circumstances change.
  • You can direct your gift to the area of Seton Hall’s mission that is most meaningful to you.
  • We can provide you with model bequest language and will work with you on the details.