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Iona Community Members Honored for Dedication to Service, Advocacy and Social Justice


Two dedicated leaders from the Iona College community who share a passion for service were honored at the 11th Annual Jean-Claude Lovinsky Memorial Scholarship Fundraising Dinner on November 9.

Elena Procario-Foley, Ph.D. and Carl Procario-Foley, Ph.D. were presented with the Jean-Claude Lovinsky Memorial Award in a ceremony that included speeches; the presentation of scholarship awards; and performances by the Iona College Praise Dancers, the Iona College Gospel Choir Alumni and musicians Alexandria and Natasha Amazan.

Jean-Claude Lovinsky was an employee of Iona College for over 30 years and was active in the Holy Family Church where he served as an usher. Also very active with the Haitian community, Lovinsky’s mission was to serve and advocate for social justice.

“It was a distinct pleasure to be honored along with my husband, Dr. Carl Procario-Foley, and the esteemed and honorable Mrs. Pearle Quarles in the name of our cherished colleague of blessed memory, Jean-Claude Lovinsky,” said Elena Procario-Foley. “Jean-Claude was one of the hardest working colleagues I have ever known, and he always ‘did it all’ with a smile. The Jean-Claude Lovinsky Memorial Scholarship is a fabulous way to remember all the good work that Jean-Claude accomplished, not only at Iona College, but also in the New Rochelle community as he worked to welcome new immigrants to the city. The scholarship helps students who exhibit Jean-Claude’s ethic of service to attend Iona College.”

Elena G. Procario-Foley is the Brother John G. Driscoll professor of Jewish-Catholic Studies, professor of Religious Studies and director of the Core Curriculum at Iona. She chaired the Religious Studies Department for nearly eight years; served on several boards of directors, including serving as chair of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations for five years; and publishes widely. Each spring semester, Elena Procario-Foley teaches a class on the Holocaust, bringing her students to study at the memorial site of the former Auschwitz death camp.

“Jean-Claude Lovinsky was passionate about his family, his God, his beloved Haitian community and Iona College,” said Carl Procario-Foley. “To receive an award in his memory is an honor I will cherish. Receiving this award only inspires me to work harder for all Iona College students and especially those new immigrants who struggle to afford the great privilege of a college education.

Carl Procario-Foley is director of the Office of Mission and Ministry at Iona College where he has served since 1990. He has developed many community outreach initiatives on campus including Midnight Runs, which provide food and clothing for the homeless; Best Buddies, which connects Iona students with intellectually disabled adults; Project Sunshine, where Iona students spend time with hospitalized children; Iona in Mission, which offers short-term domestic and international immersion experiences to the Iona community; and many other projects.

In recognition of the award and their service, Westchester County named November 14, 2019, “Dr. Elena Procario-Foley Day” and “Dr. Carl Procario-Foley Day.”