Reflections on Frank Macchiarola

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Service Information

Memorial Mass was held:

Thursday, January 24 at 11:20am
Brothers Chapel on the 4th Floor by the Alumni Office

Dr. Macchiarola was waked on Wednesday, December 19 and Thursday, December 20:

2:00pm - 5:00pm
7:00pm - 9:00pm

St. Francis College
180 Remsen Street
Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

A Funeral Mass was held on Friday, December 21 at 10:00am at:

The Cathedral-Basilica of St. James
Jay Street and Cathedral Place in Brooklyn (one block North of Tillary Street).

For those unable to attend, the Mass was televised live on NET (New Evangelization Television), which can be seen on TimeWarner channel 97 and Cablevision channel 30. It was also live-streamed on

The burial took place on Friday, December 21 following Mass at:

Holy Cross Cemetery
3620 Tilden Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11203

In Memoriam

Dr. Frank J. Macchiarola '62, Chancellor of St. Francis College, former President and alumnus passed away on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.

Read the formal announcement of Dr. Macchiarola's passing

In Pictures


Honoring Dr. Mac

Donations in honor of Dr. Frank Macchiarola can be made to:

The St. Francis College Chancellor's Fund
click to donate

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A Look At His Life

TV News


Reflections on Frank Macchiarola

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Terrier Notes

While Frank Macchiarola was a student at St. Francis College, he was not only an enthusiastic scholar, but a volunteer in many of the College activities. When I was Director of Student Personnel Services in the late '50s, he and his classmate, Angel Colon '62, always helped me with assemblies, career nights, and other programs for the benefit of the student body. When I became the first vice president of development in the '60s, Frank again demonstrated leadership in helping me start the first Charter Award Dinner. When he graduated in 1962, I was off to India as a Fulbright professor. Thus when he became the first lay president of SFC, Frank ensured that the College's students also won those prestigious grants from the US State Department to study and travel abroad. Frank also convinced me to establish a scholarship to honor my late wife, Dr. Dorothy Lipp Harris. In our last encounter, I asked what was his primary goal. He replied, "to become a saint!" Now I pray daily to "Saint Frank" who epitomized the Franciscan spirit for me.

--Philip Robert Harris '48

Posted by Terrier Notes on Thursday July 18, 2013 at 03:59PM
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Terrier Notes

I first met Frank Macchiarola when I was about 10 years old. My mother worked at Woolworth's soda fountain on Church Ave. and she became acquainted with this young man who she eventually hired to tutor me when I was in grade school. She recognized something very special about him and often commented that he would one day be the first Italian American President. Little did she know that she was so right! Beyond an illustrious career, Frank Macchiarola was an extraordinary human being who personified the virtues essential to being an authentic Christian and involved citizen. Frank was not the glitzy ego-centered persona so common in many of our public figures; he was real. When you spoke with Frank Macchiarola you had the sense that he was listening and his responses were genuine. It's tempting to go on about such a man but, in the interest of directness and simplicity, if you knew Frank Macchiarola, you knew a man who cared.

Joseph Marino '68

Posted by Terrier Notes on Wednesday January 2, 2013 at 09:52AM
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Terrier Notes

I was privileged and fortunate to have met Dr. Machiarola in the summer of, 94. A short appointment lasted for over an hour. I will always remember that hour I spent talking to him, it has been a life changing experience. Having arrived with a complex of uncertainty and inferiority from a poor and oppressed country, I walked away from that meeting, feeling like a genius who could achieve anything in this newly, adapted country. Dr. Machiarola was kind enough to share some of his past with me and find similarities and make some connections with my life, he gave guidance and direction to my life. From that meeting I realized that he was a man from Heaven, I am pretty sure he is back to his real house where he belonged in God’s company, may his soul rest in peace.

With Great Respect and Gratitude,

Arben Cukaj
New York

Posted by Terrier Notes on Wednesday January 2, 2013 at 09:50AM
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Jerry Hannon

I first met Frank in the Spring of 1962, as a lowly Freshman who was introduced to the Student Council President by friends who were upperclassmen.  You just knew that this guy was going to go far, in whatever he did.

 Over the years I marveled at just how far he did go, in so many significant roles, and yet I was overjoyed when he returned to St. Francis as President in 1996.  A few years earlier, on the subway I had run into Frank with my younger brother Roger (also an SFC graduate), and Roger re-introduced me to Frank; they knew each other from their careers in NY City government.

 After Roger’s death in 2007 I re-connected with Frank, and he invited me down to the college and personally gave me a tour.  It was amazing how many of the students he knew, and they clearly were very comfortable with him.  To some he gave praise, to some he gave encouragement, and to all he gave a big smile and friendly – almost fatherly – remarks.

 His face lit up as he interacted with staff and students alike, and I could tell that he was very proud of what SFC has become, physically and functionally, over the past fifty years.

 Frank will be missed by anyone who ever knew him, and those who knew him best – his family, his close friends, his colleagues, and the students of St. Francis College – will miss him terribly.  My condolences to all of them, as well as to fellow SFC students from the 60’s.  We will miss him too.

Posted by Jerry Hannon on Saturday December 29, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Anyelina Cuevas

Thank you Dr. Macchiarola. Thank you for teaching me it was a great honor. You new me by my first name and you even told me "you have a hunch" I can't ever forget that. May your rest in peace and many condolences to the family and friends.

Class of 2003.

Posted by Anyelina Cuevas on Wednesday December 26, 2012 at 11:46AM
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David Eisner

Frank Macchiarola was a great New Yorker - a unique public servant, master educator, inspiring leader, beloved friend and mentor, and much more.

I met Frank in 1992, when I interviewed for a senior management position at Jefferies, where he served as a director for almost two decades. He befriended me then, and then advised and mentored me for the past 20 years. I sought his wisdom on organizational, personnel, ethical and personal issues. He always taught me something and enriched my life. And - he loved to do favors, loved to help people.

His public career was legendary, but his anchor was Mary, and his biggest source of pride were his kids - broadly and narrowly defined. We never got together when he did not go on and on with pride and joy about Michael, Frankie and Joey.  To watch Frank "operate" at the College with his other kids - to see the vast numbers of them that he knew intimately and cared for passionately - was always a sight to behold. He always picked up the phone to speak to me ... unless, he was meeting with one of his students.

If our lives are measured by the impact we have had on others and the lives we touch, the angels have reserved a big place at the head table for our teacher and friend - this holy man.

Posted by David Eisner on Tuesday December 25, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Arlene Martinez

One of my first memories of SFC was watching Dr.Mac mingling with the students in the lounge and cafeteria. He picked up trays that were left befind on tables, and talked sports with the guys. I later grew to know him more when I took an 8 a.m. Philosophy course with him. I learned of his love of baseball during this time. Dr.Mac lead a remarkable life. His genuine passion for learning and for helping people was evident in all he did.Dr.Mac, you leave behind millions  of people that were inspired by you. We will help you continue your mission. You will be missed, and fondly remembered. 

Posted by Arlene Martinez on Friday December 21, 2012 at 09:08PM
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Terrier Notes

It was always an experience to be in class with Frank.  Our classes with Dr. Flynn were so much better when he was with us. 

 It was also with pride that I followed news of Frank's career over the years. One of my sons attended Cardozo Law and the other is a teacher in a NYC High School and therefore were direct beneficiaries of his service to NYC.

New York will indeed miss being able to call upon Frank when they need his many talents as they so often have. 


Posted by Terrier Notes on Friday December 21, 2012 at 09:16AM
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Terrier Notes

It has been a tough year, and the passing of Frank makes it even more difficult. A great Chancellor, an inspirational leader, a fellow Franciscan, a friend and mentor, Frank will be sorely missed.

The legacy of Frank Macchiarola will endure.

M. Davino '68

Posted by Terrier Notes on Friday December 21, 2012 at 09:15AM
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Terrier Notes

 Dear Frank (I know you will be able to see and read this from heaven):

    I was so sad to see the E-mail from SFC announcing that you had passed today. I and my family send our most sincere condolences to your wife and all of your family.
    I have just read every single item posted on the SFC web site about your stellar career as well as watched the 2008 You Tube video in your honor. You were, are and most certainly will remain someone that the St. Francis community, all of your family plus many others have hundreds of reasons to be immensely proud of. We will all miss you and all the very positive contributions you made over many years to St. Francis College, New York, the U.S. and the World. I and so many others have many reasons to be so very grateful for your many contributions that helped so many people and institutions.
    It was a real pleasure and honor to know you and my only regret is that we could not spend more time together as we traveled down the roads of our lives. Our prayers go out to you and all of your family.

Rest In Peace !!!

Angelo C. Baldi (SFP ‘60, SFC ‘64)

Posted by Terrier Notes on Thursday December 20, 2012 at 08:59PM
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M Fillmore Ryan

Frank will be remembered as a wonderful and truly generous person who loved people. He never forgot his roots as he grew to tower. In every positive way he had lofty ideas and ideals.

Posted by M Fillmore Ryan on Thursday December 20, 2012 at 07:19AM
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Gyorgy Thuroczy

Below please find my uncle’s thoughts that he sent me in an email earlier today about you, Dr. Mac, written in Hungarian from Budapest, Hungary. Since he doesn't speak English, I helped with the translation/posting. Peter Felvegi’03

“My Dear Nephew, this is very sad news that such a great man, Dr. Macchiarola, passed. He was your second father, far away from your homeland where you grew up. He took you under his wings, supported you with all his heart and gave you an opportunity to become what you are today. Never forget this, and God bless Dr. Mac for that! The world would be a better place if more people with Dr. Mac’s gift lived on it. But he had to go to look after others, because they needed him, too, to serve them the way he served everyone so passionately. I feel honored that I could meet and shake his hand once when he visited Hungary. May God be with Dr. Mac. Uncle Gyorgy”

Posted by Gyorgy Thuroczy on Thursday December 20, 2012 at 03:40AM
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matthew delfino

The earth lost a great symbol for what it means to be a true family man, civil servant, and saint - Dr. Frank Macchiarola. It is hard for most of us to come to terms with what his loss means to us. In lieu of today's wake, it was clear that Dr. Mac was loved and has touched the lives of many. For all of the generous acts that Dr. Mac had engaged in, he never asked for anything in return other than for you empower the lives of others, develop a sense of community, and to be the best you could be. Dr. Mac inspired me to break out of the abyss of mediocrity, and was the catalyst that helped spark a tremendous improvement in my life academically, professionally, and spiritually. Dr. Mac wasn't someone that would say things that he didn't truly believe in. This is evident because he personally ensured that I was the recipient of his scholarship, which my family and I thank him. I don't know how I or many of his students will be able to start another semester without hearing another one of his soft spoken, up-lifting talks. The earth lost a great father, but heavenly father received a great son. My heart and prayers are with Mary and the Macchiarola's. R.I.P Dr. Mac 

With Love,


Matthew Delfino, et. al.

Posted by matthew delfino on Thursday December 20, 2012 at 01:58AM
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Michael Meyers

So much can and will be said about Frank Macchiarola’s brilliance, about his compassion, his love of humanity, and even that he was a fierce and unselfish public citizen as well as humble servant of God. Likewise, there will be plenty of effusive praise for Frank as college president, lawyer, law school dean, public school reformer, as a civil servant who served the best interests of children. He will be spoken of as an example for all of us to follow in terms of community service; but not enough can be said about Frank Macchiarola as a dear friend, as my private adviser, as one heck of a human being and important person who stood up for the underdog and who identified with all who labored in the vineyards for equal opportunity and social progress.

That Frank believed in standards and excellence are givens—that he persevered to help turn the local and national conversation about public education reform to do’s, and not just don’ts, to that of achieving results—with no apologies or excuses—for children and students, and who insisted on looking to adults and expecting of them professionalism and excellence, too—all of that speak for themselves. He was truly a man of extraordinary ability, uncommon courage, utmost decency and exemplary leadership. Frank, too, was a champion for the public good and expert at his every undertaking. He provided the New York Civil Rights Coalition—and me—invaluable service and informed guidance and unvarnished feedback in the guise of encouragement. We commiserated and laughed together. We did not always agree—and on those few times we quarreled, it troubled me greatly. That is because Frank Macchiarola was wise, and insightful, and he unashamedly insisted on (and in retrospect was) being right. I affectionately would address Frank in our conversations as Big Mac—not because of his physical size but because of his public stature and his immense intellect, and by the measure of his wit. I will miss our laughter together, and our occasional meals over political and non-partisan conversations.

I shall remember everything Frank attempted to teach me—and shall always cherish the time he spent and willingly gave us; we weren’t ideological twins but we were intellectual friends and kindred spirits; and that was always good enough for Frank and grand for me. I shall miss Frank Macchiarola. RIP, dear friend.

Michael Meyers, Executive Director, New York Civil Rights Coalition

Posted by Michael Meyers on Wednesday December 19, 2012 at 05:51PM
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Barbara de Zorzi

I met Frank and his friends through my husband Bob who was then a fellow student at St. Francis in the '60's.  I remember fondly the nicknames they all had.  There was "J.T.",  "Elevenish,"  "the Count"  (my husband), but only Frank could be "the Judge."  They exercised youth's satiric bent through tongue-in-cheek complimentary letters sent by their fictitious Dirigible Society, sent to bombastic jerks in comtemporary public life.

Over the years we married, had children, raised them, often discussing the values of famlly, faith, education and the American dream.  When you had a life problem, you went to Frank for advice, and, more often than not, he'd offer to do something to help solve it, too.

The Macchiarola family, beginning with grandpa, exemplified the immigrant experience --- coming to America for a better future for their children and prizing education as the door to opportunity.  That foundation was further bound together  in hoops of steel by the Franciscans.  As was said many times at my own small Catholic liberal arts college, we first generation college students were given a rare privilege and were therefore charged with the responsibility to give back.

Frank's life was a series of endeavors giving back to his family and friends, his church, his city, his schools, his alma mater, his country, his fellow humanity.

He served us all and exceedingly well.


Posted by Barbara de Zorzi on Wednesday December 19, 2012 at 01:48PM
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Frank Baxter

Frank served as a Director of Jefferies and Company during the 90's when I was the CEO.  Although almost all of his work life had been in  education and other public services, he brought to our business timeless concepts of leadership, management, and service.  He reinforced that a service- oriented business  can be  a very  moral activity, bringing  jobs, growth, and service to others.  I learned so much from him.  I also grew to love him, and consider him an ever reliable friend.  The firm was quite successful, and Frank, in true Macchiarola spirit, gave away much of the proceeds from the options he received.  I think most of it went to Saint Francis.  He made Jefferies and the rest of the world a much better place.  I shouldn't put that in the past tense, since his impact will definitely be lasting.

with love,  another Frank

Posted by Frank Baxter on Wednesday December 19, 2012 at 12:26PM
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Brian Johnson

The world lost 20 angels on Friday, but at least those angels are now in the company of the kindest and most generous educator I have ever know.  Dr. Macchiarola you are loved by more people than you could ever know and you will be truly missed.  The world is a better place because you were in it.  And that is the greatest accomplishment any person can achieve.  Rest in Peace.  God Bless.

Posted by Brian Johnson on Wednesday December 19, 2012 at 08:48AM
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Rebecca Egler

Dr. Macchiarola was an incredibly kind and passionate man who touched my family deeply in the last 15 years.  We, and especially my mother, will always be grateful for the positivity and intelligence and shared with us, and the way the Saint Francis community has embraced us.   His leadership in the world of education made a lasting impact on the greatest city on earth, and despite our size, we can proudly say that we will always be making changes to better serve our students.  New York City has lost a giant who will always be remembered, and for whom we will always be thankful.

Posted by Rebecca Egler on Wednesday December 19, 2012 at 08:34AM
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John Gillen

Dr. Macchiarola was such a driving force behind my involvement with the local church.  I was privileged to be a student during his tenure as president, but most fortunate for me I was a student in his moral philosophy class.  His guidance in the classroom and out of the classroom has become the cornerstone of who I am today.  Seeing Dr. Macchiarola on a day-to-day basis or after a span of months/years would bring the same smile, the same laughs, and the same excitement.  I'll miss him, but not forget him.  I'll be forever grateful our paths intersected on Remsen Street.

Posted by John Gillen on Wednesday December 19, 2012 at 01:00AM
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Brian Morales

RIP to a great man, educator, and friend. Dr. Frank J. Macchiarola.  As a student, it was always a pleasure to just talk to Dr. Macchiarola before heading up to that 8:00 oclock class.  Dr. Mac made his rounds all around the cafeteria, asking each and every one us how classes were going and whats going on in your life.  No matter if you were 2.0 student or a have 4.0 gpa, if you were having good day or having a terrible one, Dr. Mac would always "Leave Your Mark."

As I started working for the College in the Athletics Department, I sat in the front of the office, seeing people and athletes come in and out all day.  When Dr. Mac came down to visit, he just had a way about him to lift your spirits even higher.  

I am going to miss our chats on the sidelines at men's soccer home games.  Every year, the team usually goes on a long stretch of road games, but that first home game back, Dr. Mac would spot me before I headed to the press box and asked how the guys did on the road before following the team to the locker room for his pre-game pep talk

In closing, I just want to thank Dr. Macchiarola for enriching my life, as an alum, administrator and person. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Macchiarola family during this difficult time. 

Posted by Brian Morales on Tuesday December 18, 2012 at 08:02PM
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Catherine McDermott

Such a sad day in our lives here at The College.  Dr. Mac touched Dennis' and my family in may ways over the years.  Dennis first met Dr. Mac when he was Student Government President and his mother worked in the cafeteria when the College was on Butler Street and Dennis watched how Dr.  Mac treated his mother with the utmost respect.  That left an impression on Dennis and, in the summer of 2000, when the search was on for a new Alumni Director to replace Brother Michael, Dr. Mac thought Dennis might fit into the position.  He offered Dennis the job and assured him that his personality and enthusiasm was what he expected him to use to bring alumni back to the College.  Dr. Mac encouraged Dennis in many ways to use his passion for the College and Dennis and I can't thank him enough for giving Dennis the chance to come back home to the College.  Over the years Dennis and I watched how Dr. Mac interacted with people in a loving, caring way and we will always admire him for showing us how to treat people.  In more recent years our relationship became more personal and our families enjoyed many social occasions together.  His sons, Joseph, Michael and Frankie and each of their wives and children are a joy to be with and we greatly admire how Dr. Mac and Mary raised such a wonderful family.  I know Dr. Mac will greatly missed by his family, friends and those of us who were lucky enough to have worked with such a great man.  Thanks, Dr. Mac, for being an important part of our lives.

Dennis, Cathy McDermott, Class of 1974

Posted by Catherine McDermott on Tuesday December 18, 2012 at 07:17PM

Peter Felvegi

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Dear Dr. Mac - I’ve always struggled to write you a thank you note…and it's not my English, it's the fact that it’s hard to find words to thank you for your kindness, generosity and everything you have done for me.

I’ll never forget when I applied to be your student assistant and chauffeur without speaking fluent English or a driver license….yet you hired me. You believed in me and in my ability to learn English and be successful at St. Francis College. You encouraged me and you made sure I was doing well in my classes and otherwise. You taught me to treat everyone with respect and you treated me as if I was your own son.

You used your power and smarts to make a positive change in countless lives, and I feel very lucky to be part of that. You returned to St. Francis to look after us and to make sure we're ok.  You were always around and showed a genuine interest in our lives. You added scholarships. You raised the enrollment, the endowment. You doubled the college in size. You never stopped serving us with high distinction.

Thank you for letting me be part of your life and your remarkable legacy. I received so much love, support and friendship from you that I’ll never be able to repay. It was an incredible honor to serve you, and I'll miss you.

My heart goes out to Mary, Joseph, Michael, Frankie and the rest of the family.

Peter Felvegi’03

Attached is my last picture with you and Brother Owen (July this year).

Posted by Peter Felvegi on Tuesday December 18, 2012 at 06:11PM
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Richard Loutfi

Words cannot describe how Dr. Macchiarola touched my life and many others. He knew the true meaning of life, he taught me about being in the 'state of grace'. He had much respect, love, and understanding of who you were and what you dd ! Dr. Frank J. Macchiarola was more than a generous man, he was a fine Chrisitan man who believed in the good, the good of people. You never have to ask for anything and he would always offer his helping hand ! He knew GOD was always speaking to him and he had a few callings to relay to certain people he came across! One thing I do know he said, "Richard, I know I am going to heaven".

Posted by Richard Loutfi on Tuesday December 18, 2012 at 04:02PM
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Susan Messina

New York City, St. Francis College and the Macchiarola family have lost a giant--and the Messinas have lost a dear friend. The admiration my in-laws, Joe and Vickie Messina, always had for Frank and Mary, of course, preceeded my joining their family--and will endure long past today. Their high regard for Frank influenced my decision to work for St. Francis in 2004, a decision that led to the opportunity to observe great leadership in action. His dedication to the mission, determination to turn around the institution he loved deeply to be the one he envisioned, persistence in budget management, and commitment to completing the steps of the strategic plan all reflect textbook leadership. He wrote his own chapter, however, when it came to personal touch, monitoring the grades of freshmen, hugging every graduate as they received their diplomas, and personally acknowledging a job well done. He was a man for all people and he will be missed.


Posted by Susan Messina on Tuesday December 18, 2012 at 02:36PM
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Alissa Macchiarola

To all the faculty and students both past and present, thank you for the wonderful memories that you gave my Uncle. He always talked very kindly about you. Thank you for all your kind words and your thoughts and prayers during this time. He is now at peace and no longer in pain and is with his parents Lucille and Joe Macchiarola as well as our Father. I love you Uncle Frank and I will miss you dearly.

Posted by Alissa Macchiarola on Tuesday December 18, 2012 at 02:36PM

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