When asked why he was inspired to start the DJ Schiulaz ’10 Memorial Scholarship with other St. Joseph’s College alumni, Alan Zollo simply said, “Because I knew him.”
David “DJ” Peter Schiulaz graduated from SJC Long Island in 2010, earning a degree in history. As a student, he was an involved member of the College community, serving as an active brother of Delta Psi Omega (now the Alpha Phi Delta National Fraternity), a Campus Activities Board (CAB) executive, a Student Government Association (SGA) executive and an Orientation Team Leader.
He passed away Dec. 3, 2019, from a rare genetic disorder called Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or DMD. A year and a half later, 11 of his friends, brothers and classmates from St. Joseph’s College decided to establish a scholarship to honor his life, service and friendship.
“It brings me great joy to have been just a small part of the creation of this scholarship. No one I know is more deserving of being honored and remembered than DJ,” said Zollo, a fellow brother of Delta Psi Omega, who graduated in 2010 with a degree in business administration.
A Lasting Impression
From conversations about his strength and determination to his humor, love and happiness, it’s clear that DJ left a lasting impression on his friends at St. Joseph’s College. Thus, the scholarship committee was formed by the following alumni:
- Stephanie J. Boydston ’12
- Joseph V. Cosmai ’12, M.A. ’16
- Brandon P. Cubano, former SJC student and SJC community friend
- John P. Diaz ’09, MBA ’16
- Matthew A. Dixon ’17
- Lisa M. Galasso ’08, M.S. and MBA ’13 (staff liaison)
- Gregory P. Giacalone ’07, M.S. ’11
- Michael R. Giuffrida ’08, M.S. ’13
- Steven R. Hoffman ’09
- Lauren A. Shaw-Bartalomy ’10
- Alan J. Zollo ’10
“He was one of the strongest, kindest, greatest examples of perseverance anyone could ever hope for,” Zollo, 33, said. “No matter who you were, DJ had time for you and had this way of making you feel better about life and everything going on in the world. He had this ferocious optimism that could not be dimmed no matter what.”
Stephanie Boydston met DJ on her first day of classes in 2009, when she entered the College as a freshman. A passionate SJC student interested in lending a helping hand any chance he got, DJ gave her a tour of the school, told her about all the different clubs there were to join and introduced her to his friends.
“DJ and I were inseparable ever since!” Boydston said. “Everything I learned about life, love and the pursuit of happiness, I learned from DJ and his parents Cathy and Dave. DJ taught me resilience, character, strength, and SO much more; still to this day, he humbles me beyond belief.”
Creating a Scholarship in His Memory
Fundraising efforts kicked off Wednesday, June 30, with a virtual crowdfunding event that allows interested donors to make a gift of their choosing online. Click here to make a donation today.
A Dine to Donate event hosted at Rhum in Patchogue will take place Wednesday, July 7. Diners and people placing to-go orders can show the flyer (right) or mention the DJ Schiulaz ’10 Memorial Scholarship at the restaurant, and up to 15% of the sales from their meal will go to the scholarship. Those ordering online can use the code DINE2DONATE upon checkout.
Boydston, who took the lead on the event at Rhum, is excited for this opportunity to honor her closest friend.
“I am SO THRILLED that this amazing committee came together to create this Memorial Scholarship for my best friend,” said Boydston, who works as a development coordinator at the Make-A-Wish foundation — something her friendship with DJ inspired her to do. “What an AMAZING way to honor DJ by helping to ensure that his legacy continues to live on forever!”
Lisa Galasso, associate director of alumni engagement at St. Joseph’s College, shared how this scholarship will help further establish DJ’s everlasting impact at SJC Long Island.
“DJ gave all of his devotion to everyone equally while overcoming so many obstacles throughout his life,” Galasso said. “He didn’t let his impairment stop him from succeeding in anything. DJ continues to live on and inspire people with his strength and courage, as he would always tell people that he cared about, ‘You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.'”