Bethlehem Construction Scholarship

wolaninYou could say that Vincent Wolanin ’69 owns a piece of the sky; that being PrivateSky® Aviation Services, Inc., of which he is chairman and founder. Private Sky® provides maintenance for Gulfstream aircraft and amenities to the rich and famous and even to Air Force One (including both former Presidents Bush and Clinton, and current President Obama) at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida. In January 2011, he hosted Philadelphia University’s Southwest Florida Alumni Event at PrivateSky®.

Wolanin and his wife, Illona, have two daughters — Victoria, a senior at Cornell University and a pianist-songwriter, and Whitney, a freshman at Vanderbilt University who is a professional recording artist, singer-songwriter-pianist with a third EP titled “GIRL.,” in the works for 2009 (

Wolanin’s business interests include aviation enterprises; intellectual and entertainment property assets; construction; land development; plus ownership of commercial buildings, apartment complexes; and more.

He is chairman, CEO and co-founder of Wolanin Companies Ltd. ( His brother, Gregory Wolanin ’74, joined the business right after graduation with a degree in chemistry and is based in New York. Wolanin is a hard-driven, South Philadelphia-born entrepreneur, who has said that it’s “the thrill of the deal” that continues to motivate him.

However, his softer side comes through as he feels it is important to give something back, focusing on less fortunate, but hard-working, young people. He and Gregory endowed this scholarship at Philadelphia University, in memory of their father, Vincent J. Wolanin, a law-enforcement officer who died suddenly when they were young. It is also a tribute to their mother, Julia Solecki Wolanin, who raised them through difficult times.

Vincent played two varsity sports at Philadelphia University and is grateful for the scholarships he received that helped him get through school. He proudly notes that he was elected to the Hall of Fame at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia in 2005.

“Vince Wolanin is an accomplished entrepreneur and a pioneer in private aviation. He has also proven himself a great champion for his alma mater. He has generously contributed to building an endowed scholarship in his family name, as well as being one of the founding donors to the Billy Harris Scholarship Fund … all for the purpose of helping students facing financial hardships with achieving their dream of a Philadelphia University education,” said President Stephen Spinelli Jr. “Vince, his brother Gregory ‘74, and the Wolanin family are to be commended for their loyalty, commitment and leadership in advancing Philadelphia University. On a personal note, I’d recommend listening to Vince’s very talented singer/songwriter daughter Whitney.”

This scholarship will be awarded to a student who demonstrates financial need, as determined by the University’s Financial Aid Office, and who also demonstrates excellence in athletics and/or excellence in Architecture, Engineering, Design, Marketing, Management, Chemistry, Computer Information Systems, or Computer Science. Special preference will be given to a student meeting the above criteria or one who is a relative or employee of Wolanin Companies Ltd. (or any of its affiliates) and to any student who may have suffered the unexpected, sudden or accidental death of a parent.

To learn more about the individual companies behind this scholarship, you may visit the Wolanin Companies Ltd. web site at or