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Memorializing Devoted Parents

Financial difficulties almost caused the late Joseph P. Blauvelt ’80 to drop out of Saint Peter’s University. A work-study job on campus saved his college education and paved the way to a successful career in finance. “Someone convinced him that he needed to stay at it and got him a job on campus doing masonry,” said his son, James. “Through that experience, he credited Saint Peter’s with his success down the road.”

To reflect his family’s gratitude, James has established the Joseph & Donna Marie Blauvelt Annual Renewable Scholarship to honor the legacy left by Joseph and his late wife, Donna Marie (Falconcino) Blauvelt ’81. Joseph had enjoyed a career in finance spanning more than 30 years, eventually co-founding and serving as chief financial officer for Amherst Pierpont Securities. Before opting to become at stay-at-home mom, Donna Marie was a finance manager with AT&T. Together, they were active in their support of Saint Peter’s, with Joseph serving on the University’s Board of Trustees. “My parents always spoke so highly about Saint Peter’s and its Jesuit mission,” James recalled. “Their work ethic, the notion of being rewarded for your hard work, came from Saint Peter’s. Our network of family and friends were all from Saint Peter’s.”

Several years before they passed away—Donna Marie in June 2015 and Joseph in August 2016—the couple established the JDJ Foundation to share their good fortune. When his father became ill, James promised to continue the family’s mission as president of the foundation. James has channeled the JDJ Foundation’s support to a new scholarship at Saint Peter’s named for his parents. The first recipient will be selected for the fall 2017 semester. “I understand the financial struggle of affording college today. My parents were there. They went through that,” he said. “I think they would be proud to know that their mission of giving back will be continued at Saint Peter’s.”