FDU Magazine Online, Winter/Spring 2005
Peter Sammartino 100th Anniversary

Keynote Address

Honorary Degree Recipients

Distinguished Faculty

Pillars of FDU

Presidential Citations

A Tribute to Peter Sammartino

Convocation Celebrates Sammartino Legacy
By Angelo Carfagna

The legacy of Peter Sammartino was richly celebrated during the 2004 Academic Convocation, held September 29 at the College at Florham. Sammartino, the University’s founder and first president, was the focus of the keynote address by Malcolm Sturchio, professor emeritus of chemistry. Also, Sister Margherita Marchione, biographer of Peter and his wife, Sally, and professor emerita of languages, was presented an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

The annual Academic Convocation commemorates the new academic year and honors distinguished faculty and outstanding staff members. The special recognition of Sammartino was especially fitting, as 2004 marked the 100th anniversary of his birth.

PHOTO: President Adams, Sr. Margherita Marchione, Malcolm Sturchio Sr. Margherita Marchione, professor emerita of languages, center, is congratulated by President
J. Michael Adams after receiving an honorary degree. Keynote speaker Malcolm Sturchio, professor emeritus of chemistry, looks on.

President J. Michael Adams told the gathering, “Peter Sammartino’s life is a testament to the human capacity to envision something greater than ourselves, to persevere in the face of daunting obstacles and to devotedly strive to fulfill those visions.

Adams added, “Now we go forward, inspired by Peter’s vision and his life’s work. Fortiter et Suaviter, with strength, conviction and with pleasure, we now seek to continue his mission and add our chapter and verse to an extraordinary tale of innovation and distinction.” (See “A Tribute — Peter Sammartino.”)

‘A Different View’

“Peter Sammartino: A Different View” was the title of Sturchio’s address. Sturchio, who joined Fairleigh Dickinson’s faculty more than 50 years ago, said Sammartino was a visionary who deserves great credit for not only establishing the University but for other accomplishments like founding the International Association of University Presidents and leading the restoration of Ellis Island.

But, Sturchio added, he was “also ahead of his time in one thing I don’t think we remember,” namely his efforts to introduce good nutritional habits. Sturchio recalled how, in the early 1950s, Sammartino “decried there would be no candy, no cigarettes and no soda sold on campus. He brought in Dannon yogurt and gave it away for free because he thought everybody should eat it. Today, we don’t think that’s so crazy, but in 1954 we did.”

He described a man who was “very warm and compassionate” — at one point telling Sturchio to go to a clothing store in Rutherford and buy any suit jacket he desired and charge it to him — and a man who also often desired to control the smallest details — like the time he ordered in advance the precise food and wine for Sturchio and other dinner guests.

Sturchio also recalled the time Sammartino gathered administrators in the Mansion after purchasing the Hamilton-Twombly estate (now the College at Florham). “For a half hour he asked everybody what they thought we ought to do with the campus. And then he proceeded to tell us exactly what we were going to do with the campus.”

Honorary Degree Recipient

“Peter and Sally instilled respect for the ideas of others, personal dignity, an openness toward the most diverse currents of thought, a deep love of freedom … [They] never paused to serve the cause of peace and international friendship.
— Sister Margherita Marchione

Educator, scholar and longtime FDU faculty member Sister Margherita Marchione, who was entrusted by the Sammartinos to chronicle their lives in Peter and Sally Sammartino (published in 1994), was presented an honorary degree for her educational accomplishments, her commitment to the ideals shared by the Sammartinos and her “dedicated efforts to preserve the Sammartinos’ legacy,” Adams said.

A Fulbright Scholar and Columbia University Garibaldi Scholar, Marchione is perhaps best known for her research on figures such as Philip Mazzei and Pope Pius XII. The author of 40 books and more than 100 articles, she was inducted into the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame in 1993. A member of the Religious Teachers Filippini, Marchione recently wrote her autobiography, The Fighting Nun: My Story.

Marchione said she was “truly indebted” to Peter and Sally Sammartino, and accepted the honor in their name. She emphasized that the Sammartinos taught many lessons, including the value of loyalty and commitment.

She added, “Peter and Sally instilled respect for the ideas of others, personal dignity, an openness toward the most diverse currents of thought, a deep love of freedom and a passion for research. Peter and Sally never paused to serve the cause of peace and international friendship. … They gave students a purpose, an intellectual challenge, knowledge of other cultures and other centuries, ultimately self-knowledge. … Their vision, enthusiasm, energy and purpose radiated everywhere. The world was their family.” Because of the foundation they provided, she said FDU students will take their place as leaders of the 21st century and “will enrich the world.”

Distinguished Faculty

The Distinguished Faculty Award recipients were: Anthony Adrignolo, associate professor of engineering technology and director of graduate and preprofessional advising (Metropolitan Campus), for service; Richard Panicucci, professor of quantitative analysis and assistant provost (Metropolitan Campus), for teaching; and Linda Reddy, associate professor of psychology and director of the Center for Psychological Services (Metropolitan Campus), for research and scholarship. The recipients are selected by their peers.

PHOTO: Anthony Adrignolo Anthony Adrignolo

Adrignolo, BSIE’63 (T), has taught engineering at FDU for 42 consecutive years. He also served as chairman of industrial engineering and management science for 13 years and director of preprofessional studies for the past seven years. He is currently the director of automotive studies.

Active in many voluntary roles at FDU, Adrignolo has served as faculty leader, president and vice president of the University Senate; a member of the Board of Trustees’ Facilities and Planning Committee, the University Planning and Budget Committee and the Campus Strategic Planning Committee; and chair of the Educational Policies Committee and the College Personnel Review Committee. In 1997, he was elected the first speaker of the Faculty Assembly. He also was a member and chair of several search-and-screen committees, including the committee that selected President Adams.

PHOTO: Richard Panicucci

Richard Panicucci

An FDU alumnus of both the Rutherford and Teaneck (now Metropolitan) campuses, Panicucci graduated with a BS in chemistry in 1964 and an MBA in management in 1966. He then began teaching at the University and, over the years, has taught such courses as Business Statistics and Introduction to Business, and developed Quantitative Managerial Techniques and Intermediate Quantitative Methods. More recently, he chaired a University-wide committee that designed the freshman course Business in a Global Society, which he also teaches.

Panicucci has been named Teaneck-Hackensack Campus Professor of the Year and FDU Alumni Outstanding Teacher. He also was selected for the Silberman College of Business’ first Anthony P. Ambrosio Award for excellence in teaching and was honored by the Student Government Association as faculty member of the year.

Active in many University activities, he has served in various administrative posts, including his current role as assistant provost.

PHOTO: Linda Reddy

Linda Reddy

Reddy is the director of the University’s Center for Psychological Services and the Child and Adolescent Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Clinic and co-director of the Child and Adult Mental Retardation and Developmental Disorders Clinic, all on the Metropolitan Campus. She has distinguished herself nationally as a leading researcher in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with special needs, in particular ADHD.

Since joining FDU in 1996, she has published 30 articles and book chapters and has co-edited three books: Innovative Mental Health Interventions for Children: Programs That Work; Inclusion Practice in Special Education: Research, Theory and Application; and Empirically-Based Play Interventions for Children.

A member of five journal editorial review boards and editor of The School Psychologist, Reddy was awarded the Emerging Researcher Award from the New Jersey Psychological Association in 2002.

Extraordinary Contributors

The Pillars of FDU Awards, which are given to nonfaculty members who have made “extraordinary contributions to the character and quality” of the University, were given to Victoria D’Alessandro, coordinator, Dean’s Office, New College of General and Continuing Studies (Metropolitan Campus); Ann Gulino, associate director, athletics (Metropolitan Campus); Diane Richton, director, developmental mathematics (College at Florham); and Maria Webb, assistant director, library (College at Florham).

In addition, Adams awarded Presidential Citations to Hania Ferrara, associate vice president for finance/controller (Metropolitan Campus); Teresa Montani, associate professor of education (Metropolitan Campus); and Elise Salem, professor of English and assistant dean for academic planning, Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences (College at Florham). These citations are given to faculty, staff or administrators who have “successfully initiated an innovative program or process — a program that upholds the academic excellence we hold in such high regard and one that provides students with new opportunities to achieve a global education.”

Ferrara, BS’87 (T), was honored for her leading role in the refinancing of the University’s bonds of 1993, which resulted in significant savings. Montani and Salem were praised for their efforts as co-chairs of the University’s Internationalization Laboratory Team, which, in collaboration with the American Council on Education (ACE), completed a comprehensive study of internationalization efforts at FDU.


A Tribute — Peter Sammartino


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