Solid as a Rock

Aileen Wai and her son Brandon ’22 first heard about Macaulay Honors College from a member of their extended family, Irene Dimatulac. A 2016 Macaulay graduate, Irene mentioned that Macaulay provided her with challenging coursework, a four-year merit scholarship, and a laptop.

Aileen and Brandon learned even more about Macaulay from their neighbor Michele Sun, whose two daughters were recent Macaulay graduates. Brandon’s older sister attended a private university, so the Macaulay scholarship—and the opportunity to graduate with little or no debt—was one of the factors that convinced him to enroll.

Once he became part of the Macaulay community at Brooklyn College, Brandon excelled. Aileen recalls, “He enjoyed the honors seminars, and the one focusing on the Arts in New York City allowed him to visit museums and attend concerts, operas, and plays. Through the People of New York seminar, he learned about the history of different neighborhoods and developed friendships with fellow classmates.”

Brandon started out as a pre-med major, but decided—with personalized guidance from his Macaulay advisor—to change course and pursue a business degree in Finance.

Aileen enjoys attending Macaulay parent gatherings where she can meet fellow Macaulay parents and speak one-on-one with staff.

“I give to Macaulay because I believe other students would benefit from the honors education that Brandon has received,” says Aileen. “In my view, Macaulay has offered him the same high quality education as my daughter’s private university. Continuing to support Macaulay philanthropically is my way of “paying it forward” so that other families have access to a first-rate academic program without great financial burden.”

Although the pandemic has interfered with Brandon’s plans, he is now focused on his senior year and the professional opportunities ahead.