by Mark Inman '08
Cognizant of the effects the spirit of giving can have on the life of underprivileged youth it is no wonder that the generosity of Ivan Doszpoly, ’61, has been felt around the globe, as well as at St. Bonaventure.
A Jesuit living in Japan, Ivan recently created the Doszpoly Scholarship Fund at St. Bonaventure University to help disadvantaged students pay the cost of attendance. As the recipient of a full-time scholarship himself, Ivan has given back to the university that took him in as a Hungarian refugee.
After experiencing air raids during World War II and the terror of Soviet occupation that followed, Ivan was fortunate to be the only member of his immediate family to escape from Hungary in 1956. Finding refuge in Austria, he soon headed for America and St. Bonaventure University, as the school offered three full scholarships to refugees.
St. Bonaventure seemed a natural fit for Ivan: he attended a Franciscan high school and his father also supervised the construction of a Franciscan church in Hungary. Initially only proficient in his native Hungarian he struggled to learn English, but after a summer working in the library his language skills improved enough for him to gain confidence in his studies.
After graduating with a degree in physics, Ivan earned a post-graduate degree in mathematics at The Pennsylvania State University and taught the subject at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY.
Convinced he was called to work in Japan, a country he was always attracted to, he studied Japanese for a number of years before moving to the country and joining the Jesuits.
A few years ago Ivan had the opportunity to settle his inheritance. By Jesuit mandate, members must distribute it to external parties and are forbidden to collect it themselves or give it to the Society. Thus, the savings became the Doszpoly Scholarship Fund at St. Bonaventure University. Ivan describes it best:
"I hope that the Doszpoly Scholarship will make it possible for St. Bonaventure University to be as generous to needy students as it has been to me. Thus figuratively speaking, The Doszpoly Foundation rests on two pillars: generosity and gratitude—generosity on the part of St. Bonaventure University and gratitude of the recipient who benefited from it."
Mark Inman, a recipient of the Doszpoly Scholarship, earned a master of arts degree in English this past May.