Alumna Alma Scully Deepens Support for Scholars

Alma Scully.

“A girl going to college—why would you want to do that?” asked an uncle. Happily, a favorite high school science teacher’s encouragement counteracted the family skepticism, and UB alumna Alma (Coleman) Scully, EdM ’64, ended up enrolling at Hunter College in New York City, which was then tuition-free.

When Alma was a junior at Hunter, she met Don Scully from Orchard Park, N.Y., on a blind date. They married during her senior year, and Alma taught physical education on Long Island, while her husband completed his tour of duty. Once the couple settled in Orchard Park, Alma continued to teach physical education in Orchard Park schools and coached synchronized swimming. They also started a family.

In addition, Alma began taking courses at UB toward a master’s degree in guidance counseling until changes in requirements made a master’s in physical education more practical. That change turned out to be a boon for the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. Alma and Don, before he died, generously supported the department once Alma graduated. Over the years they gave the department and UB gifts that, among other uses, support the department’s Outstanding Senior Award.

“I wouldn’t have had a college education if it hadn’t been free,” she says. “Don’s family had a long history of college education but I was the first in my family. Despite that, we had the same strong feelings about the importance of education.”

Today, Alma is 90 years young and has placed another stake in the ground toward funding worthy scholars. With a $50,000 gift, she has created a scholarship for undergraduate students in the Exercise Science program. The endowment fund will be called the Alma C. Scully Scholarship Fund, to be awarded to students whose academic achievements are deserving of support.

“I wanted to ensure that the scholarship that I have been funding for many years will continue after I am gone,” Scully said. “I hope that this Scholarship Fund will do that and more in the years to come for worthy students.”