New Alumni Association President Seeks to Build Alumni Pride
Domenico Di Maio ’97 has a very specific goal in his new role as president of the Alumni Association: build alumni pride. A vice president and financial advisor for J.P. Morgan Chase, Di Maio enjoys telling people that he graduated from William Paterson and encourages all alumni to do the same.
For Di Maio, William Paterson is a “home away from home.” He met his wife of 15 years, Iris (nee Torres) ’96, during his freshman year. Today they live in Wayne with their three children, Luciano, 13, Graciella, eight, and Rosairis, seven. As students, they both worked as resident assistants and were very involved in campus activities. Shortly after graduation, Iris began working at the University and is now manager of youth programs in the Center for Continuing and Professional Education. His father, Luciano Di Maio, recently retired from William Paterson after nearly a decade with the Facilities Department. “I have a lot of connections to the University,” says Di Maio. “It’s like family.”
“I have big shoes to fill,” says Di Maio, referring to former Alumni Association President Doug Hamilton. “He was passionate about building campus pride and stressing the importance of giving back to the University. Giving back does not only mean in a financial way but can mean staying in touch with the University, and simple things, like attending Homecoming or going to a jazz concert.”
Born in this country to Italian immigrants, Di Maio spoke only Italian when he entered kindergarten and was the first in his family to attend college. After majoring in liberal arts, he pursued a career in corporate business and later found his true calling as a financial advisor. “I’m a people person,” he says. “I love interacting with people and helping them, so joining the investment world is a good fit.”
Having worked for major firms like Pfizer and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney during his career, Di Maio noticed how colleagues would often display banners of their alma mater on their office walls. Some of them graduated from schools like Columbia University, New York University, or the U.S. Naval Academy. “One day I decided to put up a William Paterson banner in my office,” he recalls. It was an immediate conversation starter and Di Maio was amazed to discover how many of his colleagues also graduated from William Paterson.
Di Maio encourages fellow alumni to display their banners too. “We should be proud that we graduated from William Paterson, just like the graduates of those other fine institutions.”