Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Donor Spotlight: Joseph Heaney ’53

Joseph Heaney and his wife, Anne, are longtime friends and supporters of Hofstra University. Mr. Heaney transferred to Hofstra in 1951 from Champlain College in Plattsburgh, New York, a two-year college that opened to accommodate the large number of World War II veterans pursuing an education under the GI Bill. A few such schools like that had opened because war veterans were actually overwhelming the New York college system.

Mr. Heaney majored in accounting at Hofstra and cites Professors Nick Vogel and Harold Fogg (both Hofstra alumni from the Class of 1946) in a list of his favorite professors. “I went to school during the day and had to be at work at LaGuardia Airport by 3-3:30 p.m.” He juggled his studies with a full-time job as chief ticket agent for Northeast Airlines. After his graduation from Hofstra, the Korean War was underway, and Mr. Heaney re-enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps. He spent the rest of his service in Washington, D.C., commuting on the weekends to visit his wife, who was living in their home in Jackson Heights, Queens. Following the Korean War, he returned to New York, and he and his wife moved to Hempstead, where they have lived for more than 50 years.

Mr. Heaney strongly advocates staying in touch with the University. They have been generous donors to Hofstra for the past 27 years. He and his wife also show their support for the University by regularly attending Hofstra events, including the 2012 Hofstra Dutch Festival, a performance by The Bronx Opera Company and the annual Hofstra Gala. “When I was a student, I was working – I didn’t have time to do much on campus. Today, it’s a nice cultural outlet for us.”

Mr. Heaney remained at Northeast Airlines, eventually becoming a sales representative and an assistant manager. Northeast was later purchased by Delta, and Mr. Heaney remained there until his retirement in 1988. In addition to spending time at Hofstra events, today he volunteers at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. And he jokes that his accounting degree from Hofstra continues to come in handy as he helps count the collection at his church once a week.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More