Stepinac High School Alumnus Daniel P. Mahoney Gives Back Again with $1 Million Donation
Susan and Dan Mahoney and the Stepinac Honors Academy students they met with (l-r): Calvin Lindo, Nathaniel Alvarez and Lachlan McIntyre.
Daniel P. Mahoney, a distinguished alumnus (Class of ’67) and long-time supporter of Stepinac High School, recently returned with his wife, Susan, to give back again to his alma mater that he credits for shaping his success as well as those of many other young men.
This time, his commitment to Stepinac came as a $1 million gift, the single largest donation in the 73-year history of the renowned all-boys Catholic high school. In recognition of the significance that the contribution will make in supporting the school’s mission to provide students with the skills they will need to be globally competitive, the groundbreaking Honors Academy will be renamed the Susan and Daniel P. Mahoney Honors Academy.
Launched four years ago, the Honors Academy, which Mahoney praises for its curriculum innovation, is a small learning program for academically top performing students that provides college-level studies focused on real-world applications in four disciplines—engineering, finance, health sciences and law—leading to potential careers.
During their visit, Dan and Susan met with three seniors who gave them an overview of the advanced studies they were pursuing in the Honors Academy— Calvin Lindo of Yonkers and Lachlan McIntyre of White Plains, both Law Academy and Nathaniel Alvarez of Ossining, Engineering Academy.
The Mahoneys also had the opportunity to see Stepinac’s latest cutting-edge learning spaces including the new STEAM Center and Finance Center that are typically found at a college, not at a high school. As a former Wall Street executive, Dan was especially impressed by the Finance Center’s real-time LED ticker displays and Bloomberg Terminal and Bloomberg Market Concepts features.
In accepting Mahoney’s gift, Fr. Thomas Collins (Class of ’79), Stepinac President, said: “On behalf of our truly grateful Stepinac family, especially the students, I extend deep appreciation for your very generous gift. It truly reflects your abiding faith in the school’s tradition of shaping tomorrow’s leaders. Thanks to your investment, you will help assure that Stepinac remains strong as a preeminent leader in secondary education.”
Father Collins added: “Dan’s professional achievements and steadfast and significant financial support for Stepinac as well as for so many worthy causes are a testament to the meaning of a Stepinac education, grounded in Catholic values, that distinguish our alumni. He and his wife, Susan, have left an indelible mark here at Stepinac and in their communities.”
Dan grew up in an extended Stepinac family. His older brothers, Walter and Jay, respectively, graduated in 1963 and 1965 as well as cousins Bob Silbernagel, 1962 and Kenny Silbernagel, 1965.
As a Stepinac student, Dan demonstrated an entrepreneurial flair and was an enterprising go-getter. He suggested and spearheaded a campaign to attract local businesses to take out paid ads in the Crusader student publication. He also served as business manager of the yearbook.
But, his most consequential initiative was recommending that Stepinac’s prom be held at entertainment venues off campus, starting with Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle. The administration thought the suggestion had merit but it needed to be approved by the Archdiocese of New York as no high school within the Archdiocese had ever staged an offsite prom.
Not known for being shy, Dan was willing to personally make a case for staging the prom off campus at a meeting at the Cardinal’s office in Manhattan. In a manner of speaking, the Cardinal blessed the idea. The fact that Stepinac never returned to holding a prom on the school’s premises and, in so doing, set a precedent for other Archdiocese high schools to follow, speak to the success and impact of Dan’s initiative.
After graduating in 1971 from Boston College where he majored in finance, Dan pursued a successful career spanning more than 30 years on Wall Street as a New York Stock Exchange specialist. He served as a senior partner at CMJ Partners, a leading New York Stock Exchange member firm.
Susan had the distinction of being in the first class of women (1973) to graduate from Dartmouth College and to do so with honors– Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude.
The Mahoneys, now living in Jupiter, Florida, were longtime residents of Rye where they became pillars of that community as well as the neighboring region. Susan served on the board of trustees of Rye Country Day School for 14 years and was responsible for leading three major fund-raising campaigns.
For many years, they volunteered their time on behalf of United Hospital Medical Center in Port Chester. They both served on the executive committee and Dan chaired the hospital’s foundation as well. The Mahoneys were honored by the hospital for the significant, long-term and dedicated service they contributed.
Another cause they have championed is Middlebury College, Vermont where two of their children, Melissa Wirth and Derek Mahoney attended, the experience of which resulted in the Mahoneys establishing a family endowment to provide financial stipends for summer internships that focus on areas that help others.
In addition, serving on the board of the Carver Center in Port Chester, the community nonprofit that meets the needs of families including children is another Mahoney family tradition. Dan was a board member for many years, followed by their son, Derek, and continues today with daughter-in-law, Molly.
Taking care of children has been the centerpiece of the Mahoneys’ lives. Dan and Susan are the parents of three children, one of whom, Ryan, passed away at the age of 31 from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The tragic loss led Dan and Sue to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s mission to fight blood cancer through cutting-edge research aimed at advancing cures.
They are grandparents to 10. In addition, more than 30 years ago they met two boys and a girl who “needed a family structure.” Dan explained. Susan added: “It evolved into a mutual loving relationship that has lasted all these years. Now in their 40’s, they have enriched our lives as much as we have enriched theirs.”
And, of course, throughout these many years, Dan has championed Stepinac for remaining true to its core values. In addition to financial support, he has served as an ambassador for the school to motivate other alumni to invest in Stepinac’s future. In return, his alma mater expressed its appreciation in 2001 when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The unique, real-world approach of Stepinac’s rigorous and innovative academic curriculum was brought home to Dan and Susan when they learned that Honors Academy law students are undertaking college-level projects like how to write a brief for a trial. Dan noted: “It is so important in these challenging and volatile times for high school students to take specialized courses like the ones the Honors Academy offers that will make it easier for them to excel in college.”
When asked if he had some advice to impart to today’s students, Dan said: “Listen, learn, take risks, bring others along with your success and, above all, believe in yourself.”
For more information, visit www.Stepinac.org