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Remembering Where You Come From

Eileen Cioe ’69 honors her parents through an endowed scholarship

Eileen Cioe"My siblings and I were first-generation Americans," explains Eileen Cioe '69. "My father was a mailman, and at one point my brothers and I were all enrolled in Bryant at the same time. That was definitely a financial burden and could not have been easy for my parents."

Cioe's family had a way of exhibiting generosity, even when things were tight. When her mother learned that many of Eileen's classmates were living off canned soups, she opened up the family kitchen. "She cooked for and fed hundreds of students over the years!" says Cioe. "I think my mother's dream was to feed the entire world Italian food."

Several years ago, Cioe's parents died just hours apart. To honor their memory, she established the Joseph and Brigida Cioe Endowed Scholarship, to be awarded to a full-time Bryant student from Rhode Island studying finance.

To fund the scholarship, she set up an IRA Charitable Rollover, providing Bryant with distributions from her Individual Retirement Account. The scholarship is now fully funded, thanks to contributions from Cioe and a match from her employer. She used the required minimum distribution from her IRA each year to build up to the endowed fund threshold — a tax-advantaged way of giving that she often suggests to her own clients.

After her Bryant bachelor's degree in secretarial science, Cioe went on to earn a master's degree in economics and sociology from the University of Memphis. She has worked in leadership positions for state and regional transportation agencies in New England and Atlanta. Her career focus shifted when she became a Certified Financial Planner. Today, Cioe is a financial services representative with Massachusetts Mutual.

The Cioe Endowed Scholarship provides a meaningful boost to Expanding the World of Opportunity: The Campaign for Bryant's Bold Future. Increasing access to a Bryant education through scholarships is one of the campaign's pillars.

"We'll never forget the sacrifices our parents made for us," says Cioe. "I've been very successful in business and always wanted them to be proud of what I could accomplish. It's about not forgetting where you come from. I give to Bryant to honor them."

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