Not many college students take a newspaper story as a call to action, but Peter Trovato did. In 2004, after reading about a soldier who died in Iraq never having seen his newborn son, he established the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund (MSLF), a nonprofit that offers tuition assistance grants to the children of Massachusetts servicemen and servicewomen killed during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
UMass Amherst and Commonwealth Honors College gave Peter the opportunities and challenges he sought as an incoming student. “At the outset,” he recalls, “I chose UMass Amherst because I viewed it as the best opportunity to fulfill my goals as a student-athlete. As an athlete, I wanted to be an integral part of building a competitive program in the athletic conference.” As co-captain of the Minuteman hockey team, he did just that.
“Commonwealth Honors College was ultimately the single most important factor in my choosing UMass Amherst,” Peter continues. “It created a smaller environment within the University. Faculty and advisors were extremely accessible, and I never felt alone or overlooked.” Peter’s history of high accomplishment stands out, even by the standards of his fellow Commonwealth Honors College alumni. “UMass is a big place and one of the key aspects for me was finding my niche,” he says. For Peter, that niche became excelling in a number of areas while also finding the time for community service. He established MSLF and also served as a Big Brother, volunteered at the local homeless shelter, earned two degrees, graduated magna cum laude, and was named a 21st-Century Leader. After college, Peter played professional hockey and conducted daily operations for MSLF before beginning work in a private equity firm. He recently joined the Commonwealth Honors College’s Advisory Board. Like so many other honors alumni, he remains actively involved in community service and connected to the College.