A Place to Gather: Honoring the Life and Legacy of Christopher “Dom” Colasanti ’90 

A photo of the men's soccer locker room.

3 minute read

Staff

Alumni Features Athletics Giving

On September 25, 2021, Dartmouth friends and family gathered to dedicate the men’s varsity soccer locker room in honor of Christopher “Dom” Colasanti ’90.

The day is nearly two weeks from the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, where Colasanti, who worked as a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, was killed.

In sports, the team locker room is sometimes regarded as a symbol of unity and connection. When Dartmouth Trustee Gregg Lemkau ’91 learned there was an opportunity to name the men’s soccer locker room, it was like an epiphany.
 

“I thought, what a great way to gather support and really remember Dom. He was a great friend and teammate and it’s a way to let his legacy be known to others.”
- Gregg Lemkau ’91
    Dartmouth Trustee

 

Colasanti’s legacy is best articulated by those who were closest to him, who all describe him exactly the same way: as the type of person that everybody loved.

Jonathan Sollinger ’90 met Colasanti on their Freshman Trip. They were also incoming first-year recruits on the soccer team.

“That first game, three out of the seven or eight recruits started—but it wasn't me and it wasn't Dom,” Sollinger said.

Colasanti is more importantly remembered for the impact he made on his teammates, rather than his performance on the field. Sollinger recounts a lighthearted ritual where upperclassmen would select underclassmen to carry their post-practice laundry across campus for cleaning.

“They would say, ‘take my pin,’ Sollinger said. “Usually, it was given to the guy they like the most and Dom always had the biggest load to carry, and he always did it with a smile.”

Soccer was only one part of Colasanti’s Dartmouth experience.

Bart Osman ’90 also met Colasanti during the first week of their freshman year. They connected immediately and even though Osman didn’t play soccer at Dartmouth, they grew close as members of Alpha Delta fraternity and Dragon Senior Society.

After graduation, Osman and Colasanti often led efforts to keep classmates connected through reunions and quarterly dinners. Much like his Dartmouth experience, Colasanti didn’t just keep in touch with a few close friends.

“He kept in touch with everybody. It was pretty incredible. He kept everyone tied together,” Osman said.

Keeping everyone together, whether teammates or not, was central to his big hearted, genuine personality.

“It wasn't even like he was a networking guy. I think people wanted to keep in touch with him. He was a person who people connected with,” Sollinger said. “He’s the glue.”

A photo of the men's soccer locker room.

Shortly after tragedy struck on Sept. 11, 2001, Osman and another close friend, Daniel Offit ’90 established a scholarship fund with Sollinger and a few other classmates in Colasanti’s name. As the 20th anniversary of his passing approached, Osman received a call from Lemkau about the locker room.

Colasanti’s friends and family unanimously embraced the idea. During a brainstorming session, Osman recalls compiling a list of individuals who knew Colasanti and pausing at just how broad the list had become. He picked up the phone and started with 10 calls. On each try, he received the same enthusiastic response: ‘of course, I’m in.’”

“It was really easy to get support for a project like this, and we found incredible generosity from a wide range of friends and teammates,” Lemkau said.

Together, over 50 friends, families and organizations raised more than $1 million to create an endowed fund to support Dartmouth Peak Performance (DP2) and name the locker room.

Left to right: Jonathan Sollinger ‘90, Gregg Lemkau ‘91, Peter Roby ‘79, Tony Colasanti, John Lynch ‘90, Bart Osman ‘90.
Left to right: Jonathan Sollinger ‘90, Gregg Lemkau ‘91, Peter Roby ‘79, Tony Colasanti, John Lynch ‘90, Bart Osman ‘90
“The fund will support Dartmouth Athletics, but it was really people showing their support for Dom and trying to find a way to name something after him so that generations of people can know about him and his impact on all of us,”
- Gregg Lemkau ’91
    Dartmouth Trustee

For Sollinger, Osman and Lemkau, if Colasanti were here today, they all agree that he’d have a laugh at the locker room being named after him. Because a locker room is more than a place for planning and preparation. It’s a place to gather—a place where lifelong relationships are forged and enduring memories are made.

And now, the Colasanti Men’s Varsity Soccer Locker Room will forever ensure that the men’s varsity soccer team will always have a place to gather.

A man reaching up toward the top of a locker.