Becoming an Explorer will be a little easier for 10 hardworking students thanks to a generous contribution by Al DiMatties, ’71, MBA ’80. With the help of his two children, David and Michelle, this $100,000 gift created the Explorer Believe Achieve Scholarship. Students in financial need with high test scores and grades will benefit with a $5,000 scholarship each semester of their freshman year on top of any other scholarship or financial aid money they have received.
After graduating from La Salle in 1971 with a bachelor’s in general business, DiMatties eventually worked as the chief investment officer of Midlantic Bank. Managing more than $5 billion, it was the largest bank in the state of New Jersey at the time. After receiving his MBA from La Salle in finance, his challenging career with PNC Bank took him to Naples, Fla. It was there he was able to retire. “My MBA from La Salle was extremely important in being able to retire at 57,” he says.
“The IRA is a great, [non-taxable] way to give. I think everyone over 70 and a half should consider donating something out of theirs. We have 50,000 alumni worldwide. If they could see it in their hearts to give a thousand dollars—even if we could only get 50 percent, which is a huge number, we’d have $25 million to help build up the endowment.” —AL DIMATTIES, ’71, MBA ‘80
After serving four years in the United States Air Force, DiMatties came to La -Salle where, he says, “The G.I. Bill paid 100 percent of my undergrad and my MBA degree.” DiMatties cherished his time at La Salle as a Vietnam-era veter an where the comradery, community, and support he found left a lasting impression. He notes,
“The XGI Club, made up of about 70 veterans, was a source of support during my time at La Salle. I recall walking through College Hall in 1969 and there was a student sit-in against the war. My only thought was ‘that’s why we served—for all to peacefully protest, the Lasallian way.’”
On why he decided to start the scholarship, he says, “My lawyer sent me some information that indicated people over 70 and a half years old can transfer up to $100,000 each year from their IRAs to charity without taxes or penalties.”
He views this gift as an opportunity to give back to his alma mater and to pay it forward to the next generation of Explorers. “I hope to improve at least 10 students’ lives and maybe even more as I hope to add to it,” he says.
“On a personal basis, I am delighted to be able to fund this scholarship. I’m just hoping to help young people who I don’t know, and hopefully I’ll get to know each student as time goes on.”
He has given many gifts to La Salle over the years, but this was one he felt could make a true impact. DiMatties enjoys life in Florida as a self-proclaimed beach bum. “I have many friends, used to play some golf, and have turned into an avid reader of non-fiction books.”
But, his eye is on making in impact in the lives of students who don’t just work hard, but work smart. He adds, “May God bless La -Salle and this year’s athletic teams. Go La Salle.”