A Crary Scholar's Salty Coffee

Danielle and Bryan with Brayson and Amelie.

Bruce L. Crary Foundation scholarship recipient Danielle Marquis with Bryan, Brayson and Amelie.

Tupper Lake native Danielle Marquis is a high-energy, high-performance kind of person. She's the first--maybe only--person to graduate early from Union College with a hardcore double major, Magna Cum Laude. She also spent a term abroad in Greece and met her future husband as a freshman.

"None of that would have happened without your scholarship and I've wanted to say thank you for a very long time," she says.

Danielle describes herself as a total nerd who will "research anything of interest to the Nth degree."

"I was the captain of all three sports I played, the president of every club known to man, and I cleaned motel rooms and worked in a grocery store," she says of her high school days.

Thanks to a favorable early-decision arrangement, Danielle won a three-quarter tuition grant from Union.

"Amazing as that scholarship was, I still couldn't afford to go to Union," she says.

Enter the Bruce L. Crary Foundation, which has been making scholarship grants to college-bound Adirondack students since 1973. Danielle was such an extraordinary student, the Crary board took advantage of a rare opportunity to grant her $5,000 for each of four years of college.

"They saw something in me that I probably did not see in myself at the time," Danielle says.

To receive her Crary Scholar award, Danielle was invited to a formal dinner at a beautiful, grand house. The refreshments were confusing to this small town girl, who mistook the salt cellar for a sugar bowl. She's still thankful to the person who warned her before she sipped her salty coffee.

Fast forward to Danielle finishing law school at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and bringing the sports agency she'd started as a student to the level of representing Olympic athletes and an NBA All-Star. She's also teaching entrepreneurship at Red Rocks Community College. She and Bryan adopt a daughter from Ethiopia. To give something to the Ethiopian children they'd left behind, Danielle founds Ethiopian Orphan Relief, which has funded several playgrounds, an HIV clinic, and a community center for orphaned teenage girls.

Now back East to be closer to family, Danielle is overseeing implementation of the nationwide branding and marketing strategy she developed for SmartWatt Energy. She is also teaching business, finance and law online for Red Rocks. Her daughter Amelie and son Brayson are already widely traveled, but the family has bought Danielle's grandparents' place in Tupper Lake as a rental property and their own vacation home. Nothing could make Danielle's mother happier.