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George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Anzilotti Endowed Scholarship Inspires Resiliency for Ambitious Double Major

Written by Greg Johnson on .

Daniel Cooper

His sights set on the music industry, Daniel Cooper, a senior double majoring in marketing and management, has the drive, talent, and brains to make it big, but there was one more thing he needed–a little extra money to help him continue advancing his studies. Not coming from a family of means, Cooper realized he would have to find extra funds elsewhere to help finance his education. Thankfully for Cooper, generous people like Michael (MBA ’83) and Jane Anzilotti are part of his George Mason University School of Business extended family. “As a former chair of the George Mason University Foundation Board, I was able to see the many benefits to giving, and I especially wanted to help with tuition for students,” says Michael Anzilotti. Being awarded the Anzilotti Endowed Scholarship is just the boost Cooper needed to take one step closer to fulfilling his ambitions.

Cooper was navigating uncharted waters for his family, being the first to attend college. The financial aid process was daunting and confusing. Initially enrolling at an out-of-state university, he soon found himself struggling to stay afloat, even with taking out various loans. He decided to enroll at Northern Virginia Community College, where he supported his tuition by bartending and waiting tables, before earning his associate’s degree and transferring to Mason. But when he started his Mason academic career, tragedy struck with the unexpected passing of his father. The loss created a multitude of burdens for Cooper and his mother.

Now caring for and supporting his mother, Cooper knows the hard work is just beginning. He embraces the challenge because working hard is what he knows. “I am extremely grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Anzilotti for the financial support that this scholarship provides, because it allows me the opportunity to focus more of my time on achieving my dreams.” While the Anzilotti Endowed Scholarship does not eradicate all of his problems, it eases the strain, and encourages him to pursue his dream to one day join a major record label before launching one of his own, putting him in a position to give back just like the Anzilottis have.