It didn’t take DANNY BONAVENTURA ‘13 long to decide on Robert Morris University.
The Hauppauge, N.Y., native knew that RMU had a well-respected sport management program and a NCAA Division I football team. And after a visit to campus, he was sure that RMU was the place for him.
“I got a great feel for the family environment that exists among the RMU community, and I fell in love with the campus immediately,” he says.
Danny graduated in May and was a sport management major and a defensive back for the Colonials football team. He was a recipient of an RMU Merit Scholarship, the Patriot Scholarship as a member of the Honors College, the David Synowka Endowed Sport Management Scholarship, and a scholarship that accompanied his Sport Management Student of the Year award (2011-12). He was also a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Athletes in Action, and the Sport Management Association, which he served as president during his senior year.
“I made friends and memories at RMU that I will never forget, and I found people who genuinely cared about my success,” he says. “They challenged me, offered me advice, supported me through my trials, and celebrated my successes with me.
”The person who meant the most to him at Robert Morris was his close friend Marco Giovengo, who lived with muscular dystrophy and other medical difficulties. Marco died March 16, 2012, after suffering a heart attack in his on-campus apartment; he was set to graduate that May. (Marco’s family has created an RMU scholarship fund in Marco’s name.)
“Marco is the most courageous person I have ever known, and I consider it a privilege and an honor to have known him so well, and to call him my friend,” Danny wrote in a post on his blog, shutdownsportscorner.blogspot.com.
Danny’s friendship with Marco began in their sport coaching class. “He had asked me to help him out on an assignment through a message on Facebook, and later on he challenged me to a video game of NBA 2k11.” Danny was hesitant, having little understanding of muscular dystrophy. But Marco showed him that he was like any other of Danny’s friends. “That first time we hung out, he beat my butt in that game, and he was talking trash to me the whole time.”
The two became the closest of friends. “He was an inspiration to us,” Danny says. “He taught me so much and gave me an entirely new outlook on life. Here was a kid who was dealt a bad card but refused to let it hold him back.”
Danny got a job as a new business consultant with Spurs Sports and Entertainment in San Antonio, selling season ticket plans and group tickets for all three of their franchises: the NBASpurs, the WNBA Silverstars, and the Rampage AHL hockey team.
“RMU did an excellent job preparing me by teaching me about different aspects of business and the sports industry, by giving me the chance to work with professors with real industry experience, and by giving me the opportunity to network with our expansive and impressive number of sport management alums working in the field,” Danny says.