The Donovan Family established the Senator James H. Donovan Memorial Fund in 1991 to continue Senator Donovan’s legacy of service with more than 30 years in elected public office – 25 years in the New York State Senate, serving Oneida County longer, in that post, than anyone in county history.
In 1998, the Memorial Fund contact was amended to establish the Community Foundation’s first donor-advised fund. Jerome F. Donovan, son of the late senator, serves as the Fund Advisor.
The Fund was separated into Memorial and Scholarship Funds in 2005 for ease of administration.
The Memorial Fund generally provides grants to social services agencies serving the disadvantaged of Oneida and Herkimer Counties with an emphasis on youth and family services.
The Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to residents of Oneida, Herkimer and Lewis counties who are attending Mohawk Valley Community College or Herkimer College. Scholarship recipients are determined by the respective colleges and confirmed by the Community Foundation. Recipients must show academic promise, be actively involved in community affairs and exercise financial self-help. Recipients are known as “Donovan Scholars.”
110 grants have been awarded to 40 different community organizations amounting to more than $148,000 and more than $50,000 in scholarships have helped with the financial burden of higher education for 75 area students.
In 2004, Senator Donovan, 1923-1990, was inducted into the Oneida County Historical Society Hall of Fame.
“He was a man of the people, and he never stopped serving. As a Senator from the Mohawk Valley, he established new standards by which all others were to be measured.” Donovan: State Senator: 1966-1990. Tabor Enterprises, New Hartford, NY, 1991.
For other reading on Senator Donovan, see: From the Mills to Marcy-The early history of the State University of NY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome, by John Swann, 2006. (SUNY Polytechnic Institute at Marcy)
Oneida County Historical Hall of Fame, 4th Edition, 2004, Oneida County Historical Society
Indian Givers -True Story of Moss Lake, by Romey Gallo and Wayne Martin. 2009
The Root of Our Community-Chadwicks & Willowvale, NY, by Connie Puleo Griffin, 2017