Posted January 29, 2015

Temple alumni create Fly in 4 scholarship

Joseph V. Labolito
Brianna Seay, Class of 2018, said receiving the Alan and Deborah Cohen Goldman Sachs Scholarship “overjoyed and shocked” her, as it “released a true burden off of me. I’m really thankful.”

Fly in 4 has energized the Class of 2018. Now two alumni and longtime Temple supporters are giving the program a major boost.

The Alan and Deborah Cohen Goldman Sachs Scholarship Fund was established through a generous $350,000 grant recommendation made by Alan M., CLA ’72, and Deborah Miffoluf Cohen, FOX ’72. This school year, the scholarship was awarded to two students—one in the College of Liberal Arts and one in the Fox School of Business—who signed up for Fly in 4, Temple’s innovative plan to fast-track students’ futures and limit their debt.

“We feel like we were given a huge gift to get a high-quality education and pursue our dreams, so this is our way of giving back.”
-- Deborah Miffoluf Cohen, FOX '72

“The Fly in 4 aspect of the scholarship was especially compelling,” said Alan M. Cohen, executive vice president and global head of compliance at Goldman Sachs, who recently became a member of Temple’s Board of Trustees.

Temple President Neil D. Theobald “showed us the data that giving people the opportunity to graduate in four years is a tremendous economic advantage,” Cohen added. “The true cost of extending college for an extra year or two is a bad trade-off economically, but that isn’t obvious to most students at the time.”     

Fly in 4 launched this school year to an energetic response from Temple students. About 88 percent of freshmen and new transfer students signed up for the program.

In many ways, Fly in 4 was designed to help students who are like the Cohens.

“Both of us were in the first generation of our families to attend college, and that was largely because Temple was so affordable,” said Deborah Miffoluf Cohen, who had a long and successful career in merchandising before retiring. “We feel like we were given a huge gift to get a high-quality education and pursue our dreams, so this is our way of giving back.”

The Cohens’ grant was made at their recommendation by Goldman Sachs Gives. Their contribution was matched by Temple University.

The gift is already having a major impact on this year’s two scholarship recipients.

Melanie Tucci, Class of 2018, is an international business major from northeast Philadelphia. Like the Cohens, she’s part of the first generation in her family to attend college.

Tucci said she was working three jobs this past summer but, because of the scholarship, has been able to reduce her work hours to about 12 per week, giving her more time to study.

Tucci added that the scholarship will help her save money for a study abroad trip to Rome next year in pursuit of her goal of working for an international corporation.

“Receiving the scholarship was amazing,” she said. “It lightened my burden significantly.”

Brianna Seay, Class of 2018, is a psychology major from Philadelphia's University City neighborhood. Her long-term goal is to become a dentist, but earlier this school year, she was worried she wouldn’t be able to afford to register for the spring semester.

When Seay learned she had received the Alan and Deborah Cohen Goldman Sachs Scholarship, she was “overjoyed and shocked.”

The Cohens “released a true burden off of me,” she said. “I’m really thankful.”