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April 25, 2014

Charter Day Honors SFC's Finest & Brooklyn Leaders

St. Francis College recognized Brooklyn’s business and nonprofit leaders as well as its top students, faculty and staff during the College’s 130th Charter Day convocation on Friday, April 25.

The Keynote Speaker & Recipient of the Inaugural St. Francis College Entrepreneurship Award was Carlo A. Scissura, JD, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Honorary degrees were awarded to Thomas A. Conniff, JD (Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa) for his years of legal service to St. Francis and Philip F. Stenger (Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa) for his years of service to Brooklyn businesses and organizations.

The St. Clare Medal of Service was awarded to Sr. Mary A. Maloney, SFP for her 25 years of service at the CHiPS soup kitchen and shelter in Park Slope. Sr. Mary recently retired and is now residing in Ohio. Denise Scaravella, the Executive Director who took over for Sr. Mary at CHiPS accepted the award on her behalf.

duns scotus

St. Francis also honorer the new class of Duns Scotus Honor Society Members, as well as faculty and staff who have served at the College for 15 and 25 years.

Also, in celebration of the College‘s continuing strong ties with National Grid, three students were presented with the National Grid Scholarship and Internship to Peter A. Biondo, Andy Calixto, and David V. Samuel. The scholarships were presented by National Grid, Director Investment Management Francine Kollydas '96.

Duns Scotus Honor Society 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.

Winnie C. Arzu
Toriane M. Agostino
Rosalia M. Badalamenti
Sarah G. Benedetti
Tasha M. James
Judy T. Kairouz
David Lonnberg
Frank A. Randall
James Toscano
Jaymee L. Veney
Gloria A. Ventura

Honorary Duns Scotus Inductees
Brendan J. Dugan ’68, President, St. Francis College
Marianne Sennick, Ph.D., CSJ, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

National Grid Scholarship and Internship
Peter A. Biondo
Andy Calixto
David V. Samuel

Pax et Bonum Medal
Instituted by the Board of Trustees and named from one of the earliest greetings of St. Francis of Assisi, this medal recognizes and honors those members of the faculty who have completed 15 or 25 years or more of dedicated, loyal preeminent service at St. Francis College. “Peace and Goodness” is a simple yet meaningful expression of the objective of Franciscan educators.

15 years

  • John Dilyard, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Management
  • Richard Giaquinto, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Education
  • Timothy J. Houlihan, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of History
  • Fotios C. Paliogiannis, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics
  • Alan Udoff, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

25 years

  • Virginia Franklin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of English

President’s Award
The President’s Award was instituted in 1972 to honor non-instructional personnel and the significant contribution they make to St. Francis College. The award recognizes administration and staff who have 15 years and 25 years of meritorious service.

15 years

  • Christeen Edwards, Secretary, Department of Management, Information Technology and Accounting
  • David Gardella ’97, Basketball Events Manager, Department of Athletics
  • Dawn Gugliaro, Head Coach, Bowling, Department of Athletics
  • Timothy J. Houlihan, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

25 years

  • Irma Garcia ’80, Director, Department of Athletics
  • Danzil Monk, Supervisor, Department of Telecommunications

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.

Carlo A. Scissura, Esq.
(St. Francis College Entrepreneurship Award)
Carlo A. Scissura has been President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce since September 2012. The Chamber is one of New York’s largest business advocacy and economic development organizations with more than 1,000 members. Prior to this, Carlo served as the Chief of Staff to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz for five years.

Born and raised in Bensonhurst, Carlo has been an advocate for Brooklyn his entire career. He served on the staffs of State Senator Vincent Gentile and Assemblyman Peter Abbate and later started a solo legal practice in Dyker Heights.

Carlo was elected to Community School Board 20 in 1999 and later appointed to the Community Education Council for District 20 in 2004, where he served as President and Chairman of the Legislative committee. During his time at the CEC, Carlo vigorously advocated for increased community and parental involvement, and strengthened the cooperation among civic leaders and schools. He also served as a member of Community Board 11.

Carlo has served on the boards of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the Brooklyn Public Library, and was a member of the 2010 New York City Charter Commission.. He is also Vice President of the Federation of Italian-American Organizations and Master of Ceremonies for the Brooklyn Columbus Day Parade.

Thomas A. Conniff (Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa)
A graduate of Fordham Law School, Thomas A. Conniff began his fifty years of outstanding service to Catholic education and organizations with the law firm of Muldoon & Horgan.

He served as a special assistant to Congressman Hugh L. Carey and later as a Commissioner of the New York State Human Rights Appeal Board. During this period, he also served on the Diocesan Commission on Peace and Justice, was a vice president of the Diocesan union of Holy Name Societies, and a charter member of the Board of the Leif Ericson Day School.

Conniff then became a partner at the New York law firm Cusack & Stiles, LLP from 1989 until 2006, when he joined Cullen and Dykman, LLP.

Tom has dedicated much of his professional life counseling Catholic high schools, colleges and universities, including St. Francis College, The College of New Rochelle, Fordham University, the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula in the Bronx, and the Ursuline School in New Rochelle.

Tom has also worked tirelessly on behalf of many groups seeking social and economic justice for the less fortunate and marginalized of the world, including the Jesuits, Maryknoll Sisters, Community of the Peace People in Northern Ireland, Brooklyn Benevolent Society, and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement.

Phil Stenger (Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa)
Phil Stenger began his 60 year career in banking with Bankers Trust Company in 1953, rising up to the position of Vice President in 1971. He joined National Westminster Bank in 1984 then in 1993 worked for European American Bank as a business consultant, continuing in that role when EAB was acquitted by Citibank. Stenger later joined Commerce Bank in 2003 as a business consultant, working in the Brooklyn commercial lending office. Commerce bank was acquired by TD Bank in 2008, where he ended his long career in 2013.

Mr. Stenger was an active member of many civic, professional and non-profit organizations including as a board member of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Brooklyn, Mercy First, Angel Guardian Home, Rufus King Manor Association, Brooklyn Works, Boy Scouts of America, Brooklyn Economic Development and President of the Brooklyn Club. He presently serves as a member of the board of directors of Helen Keller Services of the Blind.

Mr. Stenger completed a two year term as Chairman of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Brooklyn Alliance and continues to serve on the board of directors in an Emeritus capacity. He also served the Municipal Club of Brooklyn as President and is the former chairman of the Council of Regents of St. Francis College.

Sr. Mary Maloney (St. Clare Medal of Service)
Sr. Mary Maloney has been a Franciscan Sister of the Poor for more than 65 years.

She holds a BSN and MS in Nursing from St. John's University. She also earned an MA in Franciscan Studies from St. Bonaventure University and holds a certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Archdiocese of New York.

Sr. Mary has done missionary work in Brazil and Senegal, worked in nursing administration, and served as Executive Director of the Franciscan Federation.

For 25 years, she has worked with homeless people in Brooklyn at CHiPS (Christians Helping in Park Slope), a soup kitchen and shelter facility. When she began at ChiPS, the kitchen served about 50 meals a day. It now serves 93,000 meals a year. Sr. Maloney also started the Frances Residence program, renovating the upper floors of the building and turning it into apartments for young, single mothers and their children. Mothers are taught parenting and job skills, giving them a place to stabilize their lives and create futures of hope.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.


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

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