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April 29, 2011

127th Anniversary of Granting of Charter: Celebration of Scholarship & Educational Leadership

From today’s education leaders to the leaders of tomorrow, St. Francis College celebrated its 127th Charter Day with a convocation dedicated to the importance of teaching and learning on April 29 in the College’s Founders Hall. (Watch the entire event)

After a welcome from Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Timothy Houlihan and introduction from St. Francis College President Brendan J. Dugan ‘68, the ceremony began with the induction of the newest members of the Duns Scotus Honor Society by Society President Thalita Paladino ‘11, a Health Promotion & Sciences major who also played on the St. Francis NCAA Division I Women’s Water Polo, Swimming and Volleyball teams. Thalita, who wants to be a nurse on the maternity ward, congratulated the students for their superior scholastic ability, involvement in extracurricular activities, demonstration of Franciscan values and loyalty to the College.

“It gives you a great feeling to watch our newest Honor Society inductees and know this is just the start of their journey,” said President Dugan. “In the not too distant future, I know they’ll be honored by their peers the same way we awarded several leaders in Catholic education with honorary degrees.”

Those honorees include Sister Elizabeth A. Hill, CSJ (President, St. Joseph’s College), who delivered the Keynote Address. “No institution flourishes for 127 years if it imagines itself strictly in legal terms,” said Sister Elizabeth. “There has to be heart and passion and a commitment to something greater. I think it is clear that the life and charism of St. Francis of Assisi himself, has been the inspiration and driving force, the animating principle, the reason for it all.”

Others receiving honorary degrees were: Mr. Robert B. Alesi (President, Xaverian High School), Mr. John P. Lorenzetti (Principal, St. Edmund Preparatory High School), Mr. Richard Silverman (Vice Chairman, U.S. Trust, Bank of America, N.A.) and Sister Thomasine Stagnitta, CSJ (Principal, Bishop Kearney High School). Sister Kathleen Sullivan (Principal, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School) was awarded the St. Clare Medal.

In a strong and continuing partnership with National Grid, alumna Lorraine Lynch ’91, National Grid Vice President, US Treasury awarded this year’s National Grid Internship and Scholarship to three St. Francis students; Eleni Aftousmis, Alana Jackson and Josephine Pagliughi.

This is the fifth year National Grid offered the scholarship and internship to St. Francis students, bringing the relationship between the two institutions to a new level. “Hopefully this award will continue to strengthen the relationship and allow students to get some valuable work experience to couple with the fantastic education they’re getting at the college,” said Lynch.

Charter Day is also a time to reward faculty, administrators and staff for their years of service to the College. The Pax et Bonum Award was given to Philosophy & Religious Studies Professors Dr. Frank J. Macchiarola and Brother Owen Sadlier, O.S.F. as well as English Professor Dr. Gregory Tague, all for 15 years of service. Communications Arts Professors Dr. Richard Berleth, Chair of the department Dr. Lynne Jackson and History Professor Dr. Arnold Sparr were recognized for 25 years of service.

Dr. Sparr, who recently announced his retirement from full time teaching, was also honored with Emeritus status by the Board of Trustees.

In addition, Kathy DiTrento, Supervisor of Document Services & Office Supply Services and Dr. Macchiarola, who served the College as President and is now Chancellor, were given the President’s Award for 15 years of service.

Duns Scotus Inductees
Founded in 1935, the Duns Scotus Society is named for the Blessed Duns Scotus, a Franciscan scholar and champion of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception. Election to membership in the Society is based on scholastic standing, participation in extracurricular activities, evidence of loyalty to the ideals of St. Francis College and demonstration of a true Franciscan spirit.

Zeinah S. Abuasi
Adisa Hamataj
Clement T. Kairouz
Eugene Kroner
Julianne Kuberski
Bono Ho-Cheung Lee
Soha Mahmoud
Kristen F. Morale
Omar A. Perez
Richard Polgar
Tamas Toth
Angela Terepka
Patricia Terepka
Christina M. Turcoane
Lauren E. Ventrone

Honorary Duns Scotus Inductees
Vanessa De Almeida ’00, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations

Jaskiran K. Mathur, Ph.D., Chair Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice
Director, Honors Program

Charter Day commemorates May 8, 1884, the day the Legislature of the State of New York granted an official Charter to the Board of Trustees of St. Francis Monastery allowing the College to formally award degrees to students. The St. Francis Academy was founded almost thirty years earlier in 1859 by two Franciscan Brothers who were sent to Brooklyn from Ireland with the mission of educating the borough’s working class people.

Attached photos: (From L-R: Robert B. Alesi (President, Xaverian High School), Sister Elizabeth A. Hill, CSJ, Sister Thomasine Stagnitta, CSJ (Principal, Bishop Kearney High School), Sister Kathleen Sullivan (Principal, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School), John P. Lorenzetti (Principal, St. Edmund Preparatory High School)& President Brendan J. Dugan ’68.)

(From L-R: Chair, Accounting & Business Law Carmine Nogara, Accounting Graduate Program Director Geoffrey Horlick, Eleni Aftousmis, Alana Jackson and Josephine Pagliughi, President Brendan J. Dugan ‘68 and National Grid Vice President, US Lorraine Lynch ’91.)

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