One clear strength of Franklin & Marshall College throughout its 235-year history is its outstanding alumni. Today, its living graduates number more than 29,000 and stretch around the world. They are leaders at every level, committed to successful careers and meaningful lives.
They also are determined to support F&M and one another, continuing their quest for knowledge as they create the way forward together. While graduates of any age are Diplomats Forever, many of those making a difference in their communities are under 40. Several are featured in banners across the Franklin & Marshall campus and on the Diplomats Forever website. In this series, we’ll introduce you to a few of our many alumni making a difference.
Edward “EJ” Schneider ‘14, whose career trajectory from Franklin & Marshall College to Boston attorney was due in no small part to an alumni mentor, follows a simple philanthropic philosophy.
“I want students to have the opportunity I had, which goes beyond the classroom, and frankly, it goes beyond the football locker room and the field,” he said. “It goes to mentorship and connectivity and professional growth.”
The former two-time Centennial All-Conference quarterback for the Diplomats was mentored first as a junior by Barry Finegold '93, working as an intern in the Massachusetts state senator’s legislative office and in his Boston law firm, Dalton & Finegold, LLP.
“We really hit it off,” Schneider said of Finegold, a former Diplomat football player. “I think we saw a lot of similarities in each other—a similar blue-collar upbringing, but that burning desire for wanting more. Barry has been one of the most influential people in my life. ”
The experience was life-changing for the philosophy major from New Jersey who, at Finegold’s invitation, moved to Boston after graduation to work at the firm as a paralegal while attending New England Law at night for three-and-a-half years.
“It was working 8 to 5-ish, going to class 6 to 9:30 or 10,” Schneider says. “I took courses each summer so I could graduate earlier; a typical law school is three years, a night program is four, but you can take courses during the summer and get done a half year earlier.”
After passing the bar in 2018, Schneider began work at Dalton & Finegold, representing high net-worth clients and professional athletes in residential real estate and estate planning. Two years later, he was made a partner, the youngest in the firm’s history, and now manages the Boston office.
Last year, he made a philanthropic multi-year commitment to support financial aid through the Franklin & Marshall Fund and the football team through the Diplomat Athletic Club.
Another donation named a locker in honor of his parents, Edward and Katherine Schneider P'14.
“Without their sacrifice in sending me to a private high school, and their countless hours at youth sports fields and high school camps to give me every opportunity they possibly could, nothing that I’m accomplishing today would be possible without my parents’ love and support,” he says.
And Schneider wants to do more than just donate. He wants to work with F&M in building a system in which students easily connect with alumni in the professional fields they are considering.
“So many times it really is who you know, not what you know,” he says. “Opportunity is everything.”
Make a Gift This Day of Giving
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