Scolin MacLean, ’90, Turns His Love of Athletics into Philanthropy
“I look at Kent State as a family member – everyone collectively – that I am connected to and plan to be for as long as I possibly can. I have family members that I want to take care of, and I want to do the same for Kent State.”
Scolin MacLean’s, ’90, passion for Kent State only rivals his love of sports. In addition to working with Kent State Athletics as the director of creative solutions, he has chosen to support student-athletes through a combination of direct financial support and planned gifts.
Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Scolin first enrolled at The State University of New York at Stony Brook after high school. He became the student manager for the football team, and this interested him in careers in athletics. During that season, Scolin realized he wanted to move up to Division I athletics, and he felt drawn to Ohio. He considered several Ohio universities, but his admiration for one famous Kent State alumnus and New York Yankee helped him make his final decision.
“The first baseball team I fell in love with was the 1978 Yankees, and my favorite player Thurman Munson went to Kent State, so it was a no brainer that I would come to Kent State,” he said. “There were other reasons for choosing Kent State, so I didn’t lead with the Thurman Munson reason when I explained my plans to my parents.”
The head football coach at SUNY Stony Brook knew an assistant coach at Kent State, and he set up a visit in November 1986. Scolin knew athletics would play a major role in his college career, and he wanted to apply to become a student equipment manager. He met Jeff Himes, the head equipment manager for the football team, and toured the facilities before heading to a hockey game, which Kent State won.
“Everything that happened that weekend was like the perfect thing to happen. I ended up enrolling the next semester,” Scolin explained.
Despite the long hours, lack of sleep, trips from class to the stadium and time spent working outside in all weather conditions, he fondly remembers his time as a student equipment manager.
“It was a unique job,” Scolin said. “It’s funny to talk to equipment managers now because they have the same experiences. You have the secret little nod and wink because you understand.”
After graduation, Scolin was hired as head equipment manager at Springfield College in Massachusetts. He and his staff managed all equipment for athletics and physical education, as well as scheduling the facility usage for 27 varsity sports.
In 1994, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he was hired at Turner Broadcasting to do commercial licensing for the NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass and The Golf Channel, among other networks. He advanced over his 25-year career there and eventually retired as the senior graphic designer for the Distribution Division of Turner Broadcasting/Warner Media.
While in Atlanta, Scolin would watch or listen to any Kent State game he could online. When any of the teams were playing somewhere in the South, he would find a way to go to the game.
“Most people thought I was a parent of one of the players because I would show up everywhere,” he remembered.
He also continued to visit Kent State as often as possible for games and athletics events.
“I was back here so much that it was more cost-effective to buy a condo than keep staying at hotels. When I retired, I moved in full-time,” he said.
Scolin started meeting other Kent State fans, as well as coaches and staff. He helped some of his former roommates get involved again, and now, some of them are season ticket holders. In Atlanta, he started converting his friends who had no affiliation with Kent State into Golden Flashes fans. That’s when he realized that his connection to Kent State was more than just going to games. It felt like being part of a family. This inspired Scolin to contact the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and ask how he could start giving back.
“As I was advancing at Turner Broadcasting, it just made sense to give back to Kent State. I talked to my financial advisor, and he recommended setting up a life insurance policy with Kent State as the beneficiary,” Scolin described.
It seemed like the perfect opportunity to support student-athletes as they pursue their dreams.
“I feel like I’m living on by supporting future students that I will likely never meet. When I was a student, I was having too much fun to stop and think about what other people were doing for me, and I feel like it’s my turn to do this for someone else,” he explained.
Scolin continues to give back through philanthropy and his graphic design work. He credits Maggie McKendry, ’04, MA ’15, associate athletic director for athletic advancement, and The Golden Flashes Club with helping him to connect with his passion for Kent State Athletics.
“Maggie opened the door for me to get involved and meet coaches, staff, players and other fans who love Kent State as much as I do. She makes people excited to be a part of Kent State, and you can’t put a price tag on that,” he said.