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The Wagnerian special issue


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A special issue of Wagner College's student newspaper, The Wagnerian, honoring the 10th anniversary of President Richard Guarasci

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The Wagnerian special issue

  1. 1. Wagnerian The Raising awareness at Wagner College since 1934Wagner College Friday, October 12, 2012 Staten Island, N.Y. Celebrating President Guarasci Photo by Lee ManchesterLocated across from Harbor View Hall, the anchor is a Wagner icon. In August, orientation coordinators Chris DeFilippi and Allie Dufford and a team ofHpeer leaders painted a message to welcome the freshmen. President Guarasci paused at the anchor before welcoming the Class of 2016. e has invented the Wagner Plan, in- Trustees on April 12, 2002, he officially some with a hug or a kiss on the cheek. troduced programs for experiential took office seven weeks later. This issue, a special edition of the Wag-learning and civic engagement, created the Dr. Guarasci is a friendly face around nerian student newspaper, pays tribute toPort Richmond Partnership and expanded campus, chatting with students on the Wagner’s leader, scholar, mentor and friendthe Wagner College endowment. Union Terrace, waiting in line for his with anecdotes, photos and a timeline. He is Louis Richard Guarasci, the 18th smoothie in the Hawk’s Nest, or just pass- We hope this Wagnerian will serve as apresident of Wagner College. ing by in the Main Dining Hall. keepsake marking this president’s decade Elected unanimously by the Board of He greets everyone with a smile, and of service. An interview A look back Praise from A slice of with the at a decade students President president of service and alums Guarasci’s life PAGEs 2-3 PAGEs 4-5 PAGEs 6-7 PAGE 8
  2. 2. PAGE 2, The Wagnerian THE GUARAsCI  DECADE Oct. 12, 2012 President Guarasci looks over the East River from Brooklyn, where his father, Louis, A president’s view swam as a child. Photo by Anna MuléEditor’s note: Five Wagnerian staffers — Bryan Grandison, become civic professionals who the kind of work they do because it ering spots, whiteboards every- have a series of publics that have to is a very involved plan. where, [and] computers everywhere,Alyssa Brown, Danielle Lucchese, Amanda Hastings and be served. so you can wander. Two, I want toCaroline Mauduy — interviewed President Guarasci on What are your goals for Wagner be able to get the endowment toSept. 18 for this special issue. It was a wide-ranging What has been your biggest over the next 10 years? $100 million to make this an afford- accomplishment at Wagner? able place. Tuitions are way tooconversation in his fourth-floor Union office. Here are some The goal is to get a new, major, high high, [as are] energy costs and tech-excerpts from that interview. I’m very proud of the civic engage- tech academic building built. We nology costs. We need to get ready ment and watching as students take need overall $40 million for that for tablets and project tablets ontoWhat are the most challenging the president’s job is that the provost it as their own and organize all the building across from Foundation screens and project screens ontoand rewarding parts of your job? job is teaching a course with a very EYH trips to Kenya and Bangladesh Hall. Classrooms are going to tablets. The last thing is really kind exact syllabus [while] the president and expand the Wagner Plan to have evolve into problem-solving set- of renovating and upscaling the oldTo me, the institution is about learn- is doing the same job without any broader, deeper international experi- tings. We’re going to use the class- buildings. Nobody ever did preven-ing. There is lot of youth to learning, syllabus at all because it just comes ences. [The] goal is to get to 300 room time to use the Internet to tative maintenance [for the oldand the youth have vitality and at you. You have to move within a students abroad. [The study abroad engage the issues, to research in buildings]. We are moving into aopenness…they give me a lot of in- variety of issues within an hour, fig- program] went from 10 to 150. The class, and solve and discuss the different paradigm of learning.spiration. The youth are interested in uring out what’s most important and other goal is making them afford- problems; link what we’re learninggetting somewhere in their lives. less important. You’re…[like] a cab able to students. Another thing is the to what other classes are learning What is the greatest gift you haveThey don’t come here with a sense driver because you need to entertain enhancement of the campus. Build- globally. Business communications received from Wagner?of entitlement. This experience strangers, take money and know ing Foundation, redoing Main Hall, Skyped with a class in Greece. Asmeans something to them. The where you’re going. getting more technology. I’m never the world becomes truly flat, I can I’ve been a very blessed person andbiggest challenge with students is satisfied because I see all these little see much more of linking classes to- I’ve had a lot of support from seniorgetting the institution to focus on What is your focus at Wagner? things that need to be fixed. I am gether … calling the building “The staff and faculty; they have givenstudents and learning. They keep the happy because we are creating a Center for Global Learning” and me that gift. The honor is just work-eye on the prize, and the prize is Creating a set of educational experi- good living and educational experi- have in it education, nursing, and ing here and being part of a commu-learning. ences for students that are deep and ence. Went from $4 million to $70 business, and maybe a few other nity that’s so focused. I’ve been broad and help them become cos- million endowment; we use this for programs in there. I want it [the blessed with a tremendous amountWhat do you enjoy most about mopolitans and worldwide thinkers scholarships. [The school’s] reputa- building] to be [like] your experi- of support.working with college students? and helping them become engaged tion has gone up in the [past] 10 ence in an Apple store or a Star- citizens. [You are] using education years. [The] incoming freshman bucks with a lot of stations going Describe yourself as a college stu-Students make the job worthwhile. I to make your world better; that is class has an average of 90. Fifteen on, linking out-of-class learning dent. What were you involved in?enjoy problem solving. The differ- the whole purpose of education. The years ago, it was quite different. I with in-class learning. It has to be aence between my provost job and goal of all of it is that our students am very proud of the faculty doing building that has lots of in-hall gath- I was a juvenile delinquent as a high
  3. 3. Oct. 12, 2012 THE GUARAsCI DECADE The Wagnerian, PAGE 3school student. I hated schooling, man playing Bach on the violin. It tein, yogurt, no fat, no sugar. I’m notabsolutely hated authority, but I was a delightful day. The epitome of too keen on their pizza; they’reloved the feeling of learning and places to be is the River Café in working on it. Finally got thediscovering. [There was] no sense Brooklyn, next to the Brooklyn Dunkin’ Donuts downstairs, and gotof freedom of expression. When I Bridge. It looks right back at the the Starbucks to a point where I cangot to college, I was ready to go. I New York skyline on the water. You deal with it.was a commuter at Fordham Uni- can almost touch the skyline. I takeversity. I lived in Brooklyn, so there people I care most about to the What are your favorite sports atwas a three-hour commute, so I did River Café and have a wonderful Wagner?all my studying on the train. When I conversation. Good food, goodgot to college, I fell in love with friends, good conversation. I love the basketball games, becauselearning. I was an economics major, so many people come to them andphilosophy minor; I loved literature, What’s your favorite place on you have a small place with a lot ofcouldn’t get enough of history. I had Staten Island for friends and noise. I love professional footballthe freedom of the city. I spent all family? and it’s getting harder and harder tomy weekends in Manhattan: muse- watch. I used to love to go to a base-ums, plays, movies, cafes. This city One is … Joe and Pat’s [pizzeria]. ball game, but now every profes-is such a great place to learn and The best place for food, for a full sional sports event thinks they havegrow. I was the vice president of a dinner experience, is Bocelli’s on to blare music in between plays andfraternity. My biggest contribution Hylan Boulevard. My favorite place I hate it. I used to love meeting new Photo by Bryan Grandisonwas to take everybody’s money in to buy food is Pasticceria Bruno on people at the games. I don’t enjoy President Guarasci explains how he uses index cards tocards. I went to Indiana University Forest Avenue. I grew up in an Ital- professional sports as much as I get through a busy day.for a master’s and Ph.D. [They had ian family where Sunday dinners used to.a] very active and big student gov- were sacred … lots of different per- sonalities around the table, some Where do you and Mrs. Guarasciernment there. The budget then was crazy, some loving. You get used to like to vacation?$400,000 for student government …40,000 students, three bus lines on dealing with a lot of personalities. Right outside of San Francisco,campus. I was the chief justice of called Cavallo Point [resort]. You What’s your favorite food?student court. We were very active have to go there. The Sundayin setting up [the] daycare center Pizza. It’s the most popular food in brunch is informal, but elegant.and working co-ops. the world; it’s a universal food and my all-time favorite food. We could What does your daily scheduleHow do you handle stress and go for an hour and a half on the food look like?what do you do in your spare thing.time? My schedule is on note cards: What was your most embarrass- meeting with two professors whoI’m a big reader. I read six papers a ing moment in college? got a grant ... meeting students ...day [including] the Financial Times, student town hall meeting. Issuesthe New York Times, the Staten Is- I was taking summer courses at come along the way. Some days areland Advance, the Wall Street Jour- Fordham’s downtown campus and I even longer, running well into thenal, the San Francisco Chronicle was trying to take calculus and I evening. Last night I taught a classand the Daily News to see what oth- would get a nice hero sandwich from 6 to 9. I don’t have one Photo by the Staten Island Advanceers are thinking. I love music. I love after working hard all day. I’d grab evening free from now to Thanks-opera and I love jazz and I like west this sandwich, jump on the subway, giving. I get energy from other The president and ex-NBA star Darryl Dawkins attendcoast or cool jazz, like Miles Davis get off in Lower Manhattan, and go people. “Madness Before Midnight” in October 2011.and Jeff Baker. Those are de- to my class. I got to be friends withstressers for me. To increase my one teacher. I said to him, “What’sstress I watch the N.Y. Jets play your regular job?” and he said,football and N.Y. Mets play base- “This is my regular job.” I thoughtball. I lock myself in the room, like because he was teaching at night, heWolfman. Carin and I watch a lot of had another job … I felt bad fortheater in Manhattan and we love to making him feel so small.cook. I love cooking. When I was aprofessor and my wife was a princi- Who is your role model?pal, and our kids were little, everysat night I’d make pizza. I love Chi- Oscar Hammerstein. Google himnese food and I would cook and eat and read the words to any numberChinese food for three weeks of his songs. “Carousel” deals withstraight. Cooking is a way I destress. domestic violence; he understoodI like literature as opposed to junk. I what it meant to live in a democracytend to read Irish feminist Ann En- and a democratic culture. It wasright. about diversity and inclusion and celebration. He knew how to live,What is number one on your and he knew how to die. I have hisbucket list? biography next to my bed.I don’t have a bucket list — I should How do you get to know students?probably get one, shouldn’t I? I al- Photo by Staten Island Advance When I’m here, I tend to wanderways wanted to go to spring trainingin Florida. Baseball was big when I into the dining hall or Hawk’s Nest, Michael Manzulli receives from President Guarasci the pair of golden scissors that werewas a kid. A few years ago, my son, and my usual question is, “What used during the Foundation Hall ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 19, 2010. three things do you like about Wag-who lives in Milwaukee said, ‘Let’s ner, and what three would you wantfly to West Palm Beach, and watch to change?” I get a lot of my bestspring training.’ [During this trip] ideas from students. People sayhis luggage was sent to Delhi, India “hello” to each other on campus,so he didn’t have any clothes and and people who come here arehe, like his mother, loves to shop shocked by that. We really workedand has to try every piece on. I’ve hard creating a culture on campus oftalked to my family about going to community. Good places are aboutAlaska … and then I think we’ve having a good vision on what youtalked a lot about renting a house for want, having good food, and havinga full week in Tuscany, and having a good humor.wonderful time. The book I’m writ-ing is now on my stress list. What’s your favorite meal in the dining hall?Describe your perfect day. Taco Tuesdays. It comes and goes.Perfect day? I had a perfect day They addict you, and then they cutSunday. We went to the Boathouse you off. I wanted to bring proteinon 72nd Street in Central Park. We smoothies into the Hawk’s Nest, Photo by Bryan Grandisonhad a perfect dinner and a long walk using Greek yogurt so you can eatin Central Park and saw about four The Wagnerian staff interviews President Guarasci in his Union office on Sept. 18. these delicious smoothies with pro-different free concerts. We saw a Pages by Samantha Knoerzer and Audriana Mekula
  4. 4. PAGE 4, The Wagnerian THE GUARAsCI  DECADE Oct. 12, 2012 CALL HIM DR. TRUMP: The world-famous business- man receives an honorary doctorate in 2004. sPECIAL MOMENT: Carin Guarasci places the presiden- tial seal around her husband’s neck during his 2003 inau- PROUD: Donald Trump Decade of special momentsFRONT-PAGE NEWs: The Wagnerian features an article guration ceremony as trustee Robert O’Brien and the late displays his degree after theon the college’s new president in an April 2002 issue. chaplain Lyle Guttu participate. ceremony. 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006The Board of Trustees Richard Guarasci Uber-entrepreneur The president accepts President Guarasciunanimously elects becomes Wagner’s Donald Trump is the the Theodore M. welcomes formerRichard Guarasci as president at an inaugu- keynote speaker at the Hesburgh Award on NATO supremeWagner’s 18th presi- ration ceremony on commencement Feb. 14 from the commander anddent on April 25. He April 12 in the Spiro ceremony on May 21. American Council on former presidentialserved as provost and Sports Center. He He receieves an Education in recogni- candidate Generalvice president for delivers his inaugural honorary doctorate tion of the Wagner Wesley Clarkacademic affairs for address to a crowd of and tells graduates: Plan’s First-Year as commencementfive years before the about 500 people, and “Always give 100 Program. speaker.appointment. is congratulated by percent effort. Be many. disiplined. Study and learn.” HIsTORIC: The president, staff and trustees ring the 2010 closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.PROGREss: The president leads a groundbreaking PREsIDENTIAL: Bill Clintonceremony for Foundation Hall in 2008. At right is Staten ACCOLADEs: Former President Clinton recognizes Presi- with the Guarasci family andIsland Deputy Borough President Ed Burke ‘80. dent Guarasci and the Port Richmond Partnership at the Congressman Michael Photos courtesy of Lee Manchester Clinton Global Initiatives University program in 2009. McMahon in 2010.
  5. 5. Oct. 12, 2012 THE GUARAsCI DECADE The Wagnerian, PAGE 5 TRIBUTE: The Lyle Guttu Memorial Garden is dedi- cated in 2008. RALLYING: The Guarascis speak with Hillary Clinton define Guarasci presidencyBIG APPLE MOMENT: Mayor Michael Bloomberg receives sTEADY sUPPORTERs: The Guarascis join Mike and during a congressionalan honorary doctorate at the 2005 commencement. Margaret Nicolais at Ellis Island in 2007. campaign rally in 2008. 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011Project Hospitality The president visits On March 18, the The Guarascis host a The president’s op-ed recognizes the Guaras- Rochester, N.Y., president and commu- reception and presen- essay, “Aid to Collegecis with the Les Traut- Wagner’s historic nity leaders officially tation on April 22 at Students Benefits Usmann Memorial Award home, to dedicate a sign the Port Rich- their Grymes Hill All,” is published onfor Outstanding Contri- Founders Tree at mond Partnership. The home for SI350, the Aug. 25 in the Albanybution to the People of the house of one program has since ex- year-long commemo- Times Union, theStaten Island at the Har- of the college’s two panded to become a ration of the 350th daily newspaper ofvest Home Dinner on co-founders and lay unique part of Wagner anniversary of the New York’s stateSept. 24. Other hon- a wreath on the grave and its experiential European settlement capital.orees are Mayor of George Wagner. learning program. of Staten Island.Bloomberg and BishopPatrick Ahern. FOURsOME: Richard A. Grasso, Donald Crooks, Kenneth Langone and Pres- ident Guarasci at Langone’s speech in 2012. sAFE AND sOUND: The president oversees a cam- INsPIRATIONAL: The Guarascis greet 2012 commence- pus evacuation as HurricaneGLOBETROTTER: President Guarasci visits Oslo, Norway, ment speaker and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. Irene strikes in August 2011.in the summer of 2011 to address a Council of Europe con-ference on civic engagement and the future of democracy. Reported by Alexandria Greco, Emily Rekstis and Alyssa Ahern
  6. 6. PAGE 6, The Wagnerian THE GUARAsCI  DECADE Oct. 12, 2012 Students express their “Dr. Guarasci is a true asset to Wagner College because he analyzes this institution from all perspectives including students, alumni, faculty, staff, and, most of all, the community. This year is my fourth year being a part of the Student Government Association (SGA), where I have witnessed Dr. Guarascis consistent support toward student suggestions and concerns. On behalf of SGA, I would like to congratulate Dr. Guarasci for 10 incredible years as president and wish him the best of luck in his future here at Wagner College.” Gregory J. Balaes, sGA President “Dr. Guarasci has a deep commitment to Wagner and the community that can be felt by everyone. He has been an important mentor to me, exemplifying what leader. As someone who is passionate about de- veloping democratic and inclusive spaces, Dr. Guarasci has been an important mentor to me. He is much more than a president, he is a person who is committed to a vision of Wagner, to a vision of education, and to a vision of community that holds promise and opportunity for everyone.” Kevin Ferreira stands on President Guarasci’s left during a ceremony at Gracie Mansion in July 2012.  Kevin Ferreira, senior“Out of all the institutions I Chris DeFilippi with THE WAGNERIANhave visited, I have never the Guarascis at the Special Editionseen a president who is Peer Leader dessert reception in August.so involved in campus- Alyssa Brownlife. No matter if I see him Co-Editor Alexandria Grecowhile I am walking to Co-Editorclass or at an Admissions Emily Rekstisevent, he always takes a Managing Editor Bryan Grandisonmoment to say ‘hello,’ dis- Head of Photographycuss classes, and even Christina Rossothank me for what I do for Co-Copy Chief Danielle Lucchesethe college. Dr. Guarasci Co-Copy Chiefis an asset to this institu- Stephanie Hinkestion. As I continue my Opinions Editor Samantha Knoerzeryears at Wagner, I hopeto remain close with Dr. Entertainment Editor Audriana MekulaGuarasci. He has inspired Sports Editorme to bring great change Prof. Claire Reganto the campus community and he truly encouraged me to go above and beyond. I Faculty Advisercan’t thank him enough for his kindness to me and his dedication to the institution.” Chris DeFilippi, sGA senator Lee Manchester Director of Media Relations
  7. 7. Oct. 12, 2012 THE GUARAsCI DECADE The Wagnerian, PAGE 7 admiration and praise“President Guarasci always says ‘hi’ to me, and he always greets me by name. I had class with him — Dar- “President Guarasci has always been win, Marx and Freud — and I really a down-to-earth guy. He really takes enjoyed what he contributed to the an interest in what I do here on cam- course. He’s very personable.” pus and has always encouraged me Jamie Macchia, senior to be a leader. I see him and his wife as role models, and if there’s any time I may need something or have a prob- lem, I know I could go to him.” “President Guarasci is a great man Josh Thompson, Grad student and a wonderful leader. He always makes me and my family feel at home here at Wagner. His kindnessand compassion inspires me to work “President Guarasci has done a lot hard and fills me with so much for Wagner, especially financially.Wagner pride. These are qualities of So I have a lot of respect for him. a great leader and we are lucky to I have friends who go to schools who have one in Dr. Guarasci.” dont have the slightest clue who their president is. It is a unique experience Amanda Hastings, Junior being able to talk with him and see him on campus a lot.” Neal Fessler, senior “He is very friendly toward everyone. He always remembers me and says ‘hi’ and asks “At the honors reception my freshman how everything is. He is so year, he and I talked about supportive of the theater and asks literature, like Hemingway and how any shows Im in are going.” Russian writers, for roughly 20 Bronwyn Whittle, Junior minutes. It was great and made me feel welcome at the college.” Zachary Weinsteiger, Junior “He just has a wonderful presence. “President Guarasci was my profes- I know from personal interactions sor for a government class my fresh-that he is simply a kind person. He is man year. Ever since then, he always a well spoken and educated man makes sure to say ‘hello’ to me when- who has heart enough to contribute ever he sees me. Its cool how he al- to small causes on campus.” ways remembers what activities Im in at Wagner and never fails to ask me Emily stein, Class of 2012 how they are going. He makes me feel like Im not just a number. President Guarasci shows how much he genuinely cares about his students and wants to make sure they are “Both President Guarasci and his happy at Wagner. He really seems to wife are very lovely individuals. love his job and that positive energyWhen I went to their house last year, really makes students appreciate and I felt like I was welcomed like him even more.” with open arms.” Emily sayre, Junior Jeana shea, sophomore Page by Misty Rosso and Stephanie Hinkes
  8. 8. PAGE 8, The Wagnerian THE GUARAsCI DECADE Oct. 12, 2012 1 2 3 4 Snapshots of a president 5 6 7 1. The Guarascis join alumnae for “Evita.” 2. President Guarasci with Karen Luchow at Reunion 2007. 3. The president with his son, Patrick, at Super Bowl 2012. 4. The president at his favorite vacation spot, Cape Cod. 5. Support for the Seahawks at one of the president’s favorite events of the year, Homecoming. 6. Carin and Richard Guarasci circa 1964. 7. The Guarascis on 8 a trip to London in March 2012. 8. The presidentPage by Alyssa Brown walks his daughter, Bridget, down the aisle at herand Bryan Grandison wedding on May 24, 2011.