New Rochelle, NY (March 21, 2014) Benefactor and alumnus Ronald M. DeFeo ‘74, '13H was the guest of honor at an Iona College reception celebrating the continued generosity of the DeFeo Family Endowed Scholarship to 31 Iona student recipients over the past eight years.
Created in 2006, the scholarship has given financial support to 31 students 19 who are now alumni and 12 current students. The financial awards are bestowed to full-time, undergraduate students who apply and are selected based on demonstrated financial need, academic quality, demonstrated leadership ability and a commitment to excellence.
Iona College President, Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. welcomed Mr. DeFeo saying “Ron DeFeo is the very example of Iona alumni who have gone on to move the world with distinguished careers and active community leadership.”
The DeFeo Family Endowed Scholarship reception was held on Tuesday, March 11, in the Hegarty Room located in the Hynes Athletics Center. The reunion of current and former DeFeo Scholarship recipients was an opportunity for benefactor Ron DeFeo to meet the recipients of his family's scholarship, and provided the scholars a chance to personally thank Mr. DeFeo for his family’s generosity.
A video testimonial featuring several DeFeo scholars was presented as a tribute to the DeFeo family. Kyle Byrne '14, represented the students with welcoming remarks, “When I was notified that I would be receiving this prestigious award, it had a profound impact on me. Someone clearly believed in me and my potential, and from that moment on, I did not ever want to let the DeFeo family down.”
Mr. DeFeo thanked the scholars for their kind words and recognition saying “You make me feel special because you are special.”
“DeFeo Scholars distinguish themselves at Iona College and beyond with their commitment to academic excellence, and their ability to achieve success in their chosen career paths,” said Paul J. Sutera, senior vice president of Advancement & External Affairs.
The following DeFeo scholars in attendance were Kelly Ahearn ’14, Steven Alrich ’10, Emma Ames ’12, Miranda Benthin ’12, ’13MBA, Steven Burth '15, Kyle Byrne ’15, Kristen DeFilippe Myers ’09, Merridith Delinois ’16, Marci Dillion '14, Michele Dorrian ’14, Dana Glick ’12, Matt Harrigan ’14, Donika Kabashi ’14, Stellina Napolitano ’13, Alexandria Lanese Keating ’09, Kathryn Staudt ’13, Stephanie Valette ’14, and Arslly Vasquez, ’15.
The DeFeo family includes three brothers. Ronald DeFeo '84 was appointed president and COO of Terex Corporation in 1993, CEO in 1995 and chairman of the board in 1998. DeFeo joined Terex in 1992 as president of the company's then Heavy Equipment Group. A year later, he also became president of the company's former Clark Material Handling Company subsidiary.
Neil P. DeFeo is an experienced CEO and corporate board member and an active community leader. DeFeo was CEO of Playtex Products, Inc. from October 2004, first as president and chief executive officer and then named chairman in March 2006. DeFeo left Playtex when it was sold in October 2007 to Energizer Holdings Inc., having tripled shareholder equity in three years.
A third brother, Philip D. DeFeo '68, passed away in 2007 and had served as managing partner and founder of Lithos Capital Partners LLC.