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VALEDICTORIANS


Frank Bonomo ’86 had more on his mind than his major when he buckled down to college study. A Brooklyn-born member of the Chippewa Nation, at the age of 9 he was devastated by his father’s murder, and now he was in prison for weapons possession himself. He had to tolerate body searches before class, but he says it was worth it to study with the visiting UWW faculty—“leftover hippies with a social conscience, who truly cared about us students.” Bonomo studied business, until a course in social work reset his compass. He felt he had a lot to offer others fighting de- pression, antisocial behavior, abuse, or addiction. After two years behind bars (which he measured as “four semesters”), he returned to Brooklyn as a construction worker now “thirsting for education.” When he learned he could finish a degree through UWW, he beelined to Saratoga Springs and juggled jobs as a mental-health worker with his studies. There he met Susan Donohue ’86. They graduated with honors, married, earned master’s degrees in social work, and today train other clinicians to practice solution-based therapy. Outside the office he’s a voracious reader, from an- thropology to comic books, and a civil-rights advocate with strong ties to his Native American heritage. Bonomo attrib- utes his nimble resourcefulness to his UWW education as well as his manifold experience. And he worries that a “too- focused” education can shrink the breadth of individual knowledge—“a well-educated person doesn’t know every- thing,” he allows, “but he knows where to ask for help.”


HAWLEY STUDIO


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