If you visit George and Carol Majestic at their home in Florida and you mention Marist, it’s possible George will share with you something unusual. He has a folder from his Marist days 50 years ago where he’s saved tuition bills, thank-you notes for his decades-worth of donations, letters of recommendation, and a 1966 letter confirming his acceptance from Dave Flynn ’64, director of admissions.
“I don't consider myself a hoarder,” he said, “but some things are important to me.” He especially prizes the letters from faculty members Dr. Jack Kelly and Dr. M. J. Michelson, two of his favorite professors. “I cherished those. And my time at Marist.”
George was born and raised in Gardiner, NY. “My parents didn't have much money, so I went to work for IBM after high school and started going to school at Marist at night,” he recalled.
“I then served four years in the Navy and returned to work at IBM in 1967, enrolled at Marist as an adult student, and took classes part time through the evening division. I was eager to finish, so I took a leave of absence from IBM and condensed three years of study into two—graduating in 1971. I was able to attend and graduate debt-free with the help of the GI Bill.”
Carol too forged her own path. “I was one of nine children. Instead of going on to college like my brothers, I got a job as a secretary at IBM and stayed with them almost six years.” A TWA ad recruiting flight attendants caught her attention, leading to a new career that lasted 33 years.
George led development projects in Ulster, Orange, and Dutchess counties under the banner of his excavation company, Majestic Underground. “So that’s where I made my living, really close to home,” George said.
Both George and Carol are enjoying retirement. But far from forgetting about Marist, they have established a scholarship, the George W. Majestic ’71 and Carol Lahey Majestic Scholarship, to help other aspiring college graduates.
“It's a nice feeling to be able to share our good fortune,” said George. “We just feel like we’re helping someone who needs help, and we're happy to share.”