Keeping “the Educational Light” Burning

By Vincent Reda, B.A.’74
Daniel Nolan in a business suit

Given that Daniel P. Nolan, B.S.’74, did not participate in an NCAA or intramural program – or attend many games – in his three years at UAlbany, his $1-million unrestricted gift to support University athletics is ironic. But he’s grateful to UAlbany for switching on “the educational light” for him – and he wants to keep that light burning for today’s students.  

Nolan cites “the tremendous success of the University’s programs in basketball, lacrosse, soccer, and other sports” – and the resulting “increased pride of alumni” – as two reasons for making the donation. He also recognizes that athletics provide a gateway to encouraging alumni support for students – many of whom lack the resources they need to learn and succeed.  

Nolan, who lived at home in Colonie while majoring in business, worked his way through school with part-time jobs at Macy’s and Valle’s Steak House. He recalls that he loved UAlbany and attributes “most of what I’ve accomplished” to the University and to Albany Law School, where he earned a J.D. in 1978. 

His achievements include 28 years at Ayco Company, providing tax, investment, and financial-planning advice to its highest-net-worth clients, and founding its Special Investment Group. In 2003, after the firm’s sale to Goldman Sachs, Nolan led the effort to integrate Ayco into Goldman Sachs’ Private Wealth Management practice. Since 2008, he has served as president and CEO of Albany-based Hugh Johnson Advisors, LLC.

“Alumni possess critically important resources to offer the University’s students,” observes Nolan, who made the first significant contribution to the 2003 fund that created what is now Bob Ford Field at Casey Stadium. Those resources, he explains, include not only grants and other monetary gifts, but “networking opportunities, internships, and mentoring.”

Nolan began actively supporting higher education in the Capital Region two decades ago, initially as a trustee at The College of Saint Rose and later in the same capacity at Albany Law School.  He served as board chair for both colleges.

In 2014, Nolan received UAlbany’s Community Laureate Award.   

Related Stories

Gifts at Work

Acclaimed Alumni Help Secure NYSWI’s Future

Two renowned UAlbany alumni – one a novelist, the other a screenwriter and producer – will ensure that audiences continue to enjoy New York State Writers Institute programs that bring celebrated writers and films to the Capital Region.

Faculty-Research Focus

Deflecting the Pink Elephant

If you’ve ever felt “stuck on autopilot,” UAlbany psychology professor John P. Forsyth, Ph.D., has some advice for you.

Student Profile

Being There for Others

Moises Urena, a former peer leader at the American Sign Language High School in downtown Manhattan, aspires to work in higher education one day.