Why I Give: Manuel “Alex” Romero ’91

Then Initially drawn to Sarah Lawrence for its proximity to Manhattan. One visit to campus and he realized: This is it.

Now Lives in a Bronxville home he bought with his husband, Clyde Johnson, after years of living in Manhattan. “Part of the appeal was being back in Bronxville.”

Then Started working in retail to pay for school and continued along that path for several years. Then, in 1999, he took a job at Bergdorf’s that was only supposed to last through the holiday shopping season.

Now Sees clients at Bergdorf’s by appointment only. “Working in a multibrand environment, you can really be a stylist.”

Then Transformed by a Latin American literature course in which professor Pilar Rotella suggested that Don Quixote is the last original story written and that all others are retellings.

Now Uses his affinity for narratives to sell fine jewelry. “When people are spending a lot of money on something, they want to know the story behind it.”

“I started giving as soon as I was able.”

Then Drove in to Hell’s Kitchen with friends to hang out at Trixie’s.

Now Spends weekends with Johnson and Cece, their geriatric chow chow, at their second home in Catskill, New York.

Then Was chameleon-like in his social life. “I was friends with everyone.”

Now Finds community and purpose in supporting important causes, including NPR, Best Friends Animal Society, and Hope for Javier—a nonprofit named for Romero’s 13-year-old nephew, who is being treated for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. “When I see Javier and his parents facing his condition with such courage, that’s awe-inspiring.”

Then Made a $50 donation to The Fund for Sarah Lawrence.

Now Makes leadership-level gifts to FSL every year. “When you’re a student and financial aid makes it possible to be somewhere you really want to be, you’re really grateful.”