Michael Salamone, ’72, considered Niagara University when he was a senior in high school when he heard they were offering generous scholarships. As he researched the school further, he realized that it had a very strong accounting program, which was his intended major at the time. During his four years at Niagara University, he changed to a liberal arts track and took enough science courses to be accepted into physical therapy school, the career he worked in for 43 years.
At Niagara, Michael taught religious education, NUCAP, volunteered as a therapy aide, and was an athletic training assistant for club football. But the highlight of his Niagara experience was meeting his future wife, Rosemary Ascherl, ’73, with whom he has shared a very happy marriage.
Rosemary came to Niagara because she had always wanted to be a nurse and was looking for a four-year baccalaureate program at a co-ed Catholic university.
In her freshman year, she lived at Rosary Hall on 6th Street in Niagara Falls. The old building proved to be a great place for the freshmen women residing there to build enduring relationships, she says. In her sophomore year, she moved into the first women’s dorm on campus, Seton Hall and, in her senior year, she and the close-knit group of women of ’73 moved together into the newly reopened Laboure wing of Clet Hall. She recalls the much-anticipated dedication of Dunleavy Hall, the nursing building with state-of-the-art nursing labs and facilities, during her senior year, as well. After graduation, Rosemary spent nearly 25 years as a school nurse.
“At Niagara, I formed life-long friendships, including my roommate, Jean, who is like a sister to me, and met Mike, my husband of 44 years,” Rosemary said. “In the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, I participated in service projects through NUCAP and continue to be involved in such endeavors at the present time.”
Michael also learned to become more socially conscious of the problems in the world in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul. He appreciates the wonderful changes the Rev. James Maher, C.M., Niagara’s president, is making on campus and in the surrounding Niagara Falls community, which reflect the true Vincentian spirit. Inspired by those changes, and the fact that he and his wife are approaching the 50th anniversary of their graduations, the Salamones felt the time was right to be generous to the university that gave them so much, including each other.
“Fortunately, thanks to the many blessings God has provided us, we had the financial means to make a modest donation through a charitable gift annuity,” Michael said.
“We both gained lifelong benefits from our time at Niagara and wanted to give back,” Rosemary said, “especially to support the nursing program.” She said that she is pleased to see the nursing program reinstated at Niagara, and that it is rapidly growing. “The training we received at Niagara developed very special nurses, something I could easily attest to in my working years. It is good to see this tradition continuing.”
Michael and Rosemary are hoping that their contribution will help a Niagara student in financial need obtain a nursing education and bring more good to the world.
“I would encourage my fellow alumni to think seriously about making a generous lasting contribution to our university,” said Michael. “Besides giving us a sound education, it helped us to become better people and more aware of the planet we all share. Please consider helping NU continue to make our world a better place.”
A donor who makes a gift though a charitable gift annuity becomes eligible to take a partial tax deduction for the donation and receive a fixed stream of income, also eligible for tax benefits, from Niagara for the rest of his/her life.