"University presidents and politicians often talk about giving back to the country. Veterans have already answered that call, and I believe that at places like Cornell, we owe these folks an opportunity to transition into the private sector," says Peter Nolan, '80, MBA '82. He is a man who lives by his words. Nolan and his wife, Stephanie Nolan '84, have given $1 million to the Johnson School to make scholarships available to outstanding candidates who are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Peter and Stephanie Nolan Veterans Scholarship is already at work—the Johnson School has increased its quotient of exceptional individuals with military service in the Middle East.
"It's a win-win," says Nolan. "It's the right thing to do for those who have given so much. And it helps Cornell recruit a talent pool that is very desirable to employers. These men and women have experience performing under extreme pressure, and they enrich the dialogue on campus with their world perspective." He foresees that by adding robust business skills to their other abilities, these individuals will be equipped to make yet another contribution—strengthening the economy.
Peter Nolan gives time, as well as funding, to Cornell University and the Johnson School. He serves as a trustee of the university and returns to the Johnson School to guest lecture in classes of the man who taught him finance—Professor Hal Bierman. Like so many others, he also maintains close connections with fellow Cornellians.
Currently a managing partner of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., Nolan was previously a managing director and co-head of DLJ's Los Angeles Investment Banking division. While there, he built the office to the largest regional presence in the nation. Prior to DLJ, he held positions at Drexel, Burnham, Lambert; Prudential Securities, Inc.; and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company.
The long-term outcome of the Nolans' generosity will be seen in years to come. Now, its promise is evident in the character of the students who are its beneficiaries. Steve Maddox and Josh Cunningham are among this elite cadre.
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