Mary Pat Oliker sits in a chair

Mary Pat Oliker

Central New York has been Mary Pat’s home for 50 years. It is where she met her husband, where their careers flourished and where they discovered a shared commitment to the many nonprofit and charitable organizations making a difference in their community.

Central New York has been Mary Pat’s home for 50 years. It is where she met her husband, where their careers flourished and where they discovered a shared commitment to the many nonprofit and charitable organizations making a difference in their community.

Her passion for giving back was inspired and nurtured by the values and practices in her family – from her grandmother’s weekly contributions to her parish to her mother’s volunteer commitment, in deed and in dollar, to higher education and healthcare in the Rochester community where they lived. The expectations for ‘giving back’ were instilled in her and her brothers from an early age.

It was while she was attending graduate school at Syracuse University when she met her late husband, Dick. Soon after, their respective careers at Syracuse University and at Upstate Medical University thrived. They were invited to serve on boards and to participate in the larger Syracuse community in many areas over the years. Their respective volunteer activities introduced them to community leaders, organizations and programs that gave each of them experiences and opportunities far beyond their expectations.

The people she has met and worked with and the experiences they shared have helped her define her own pattern of ‘giving back’. She and Dick’s careers reinforced their shared passion for higher education and opened their eyes to the healthcare needs of the community. These two causes and the arts have provided a personal imperative for her to give her time and charitable support.

We provide the vehicle for Mary to “pay back to pay forward”’ through her donor-advised fund. She has also named us in her estate plan, knowing that her legacy of support for Central New York-based education, healthcare and arts programs will be honored into the future.

“I am proud to give back to the community where she and Dick made their lives together,” she said. “I find comfort in knowing the Community Foundation will honor our wishes and use our funds to support the areas of interest that so profoundly defined our careers and broader community commitments.”

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