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December 18, 2012

St. Francis College Mourns Passing of Frank J. Macchiarola '62

It is with much sadness that St. Francis College announces the passing of the College’s Chancellor, past-President and alumnus Frank J. Macchiarola ’62 on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.

Chancellor Macchiarola returned to his alma mater, St. Francis College, as its President in 1996. It was a homecoming that benefitted everyone involved. The College flourished under his 12 year tenure and Dr. Macchiarola relished the time he spent with current and former students.

As President, Macchiarola would continuously go through student transcripts, looking to help those that seemed to be struggling and to reward others who showed improvements. A constant sight in the hallways and often as a professor in the classroom, students, faculty and administrators universally referred to him as “Dr. Mac.”

Under his leadership the College completed a successful $40 million fundraising campaign which resulted in the construction of what is now called the Frank and Mary Macchiarola Academic Center, a 35,000 square foot state-of-the-art building with a three floor library, black box theater, HDTV studio and multimedia classroom. That money was also used to build the Anthony J. Genovesi Center, a multipurpose athletic facility that hosts home volleyball matches, intramurals, lectures and special events.

Of particular significance to Dr. Mac was the creation of more than 150 endowed scholarships that helps St. Francis keep to its mission of insuring an affordable private college education.

Dr. Macchiarola has held a number of other positions in public and private roles, perhaps the most prominent serving for five years as New York City Public Schools Chancellor under Mayor Ed Koch. Mayor Koch often proclaimed that Dr. Macchiarola was the “finest Schools Chancellor New York City ever had.”

Chancellor Macchiarola also served five years as Dean of Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where he also taught. He was also a professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business and at City University of New York (CUNY) for more than 20 years. Dr. Macchiarola was President and CEO of the New York City Partnership, Inc., Deputy Director of the New York State Emergency Financial Control Board for New York City and Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Columbia Business School Community Collaboration.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Dr. Macchiarola to serve as chair of the New York City Charter Revision Commission. He mediated the 2003 strike of Local 802 Musicians Union against the League of American Theaters and Producers; chaired the New York City Districting Commission, which drew City Council District lines for the 1991 election; and acted as special referee in the case that drew New York State congressional lines for the 1992 election.

Dr. Macchiarola’s strong and deeply rooted Roman-Catholic faith, recognized through numerous awards and accolades, influenced him to focus his life’s work on helping others. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI bestowed upon him the Papal Honor of Knight Commander of the Holy Order of St. Gregory the Great. Among numerous other honors, he also received the St. Thomas More Award from the Catholic Lawyers Guild Diocese Brooklyn, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Catholic Teachers Association and the Cavalieri, Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.

Dr. Macchiarola will be waked at St. Francis College at 180 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights on Wednesday, December 19 and Thursday, December 20 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm and 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

A funeral mass will be held on Friday, December 21 at 10:00am at The Cathedral-Basilica of St. James on Jay Street and Cathedral Place in Brooklyn (one block North of Tillary Street).

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

The burial will take place following mass at Holy Cross Cemetery, 3620 Tilden Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203.

Dr. Macchiarola died after an extended illness, he was 71.

He is survived by his wife Mary T. Macchiarola, his three sons Joseph (Michaela), Michael (Jennifer) and Frank (Sarah) and seven grandchildren; John, Joseph, Danny, Mary Kate, Erin, Maggie and Brian. He is also survived by his brothers Joseph, James and Henry.

(Watch a retrospective on the life of Frank J. Macchiarola / for more information go to

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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