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Staff Honored at Lovinsky Scholarship Dinner

By William Nolan '16, Student Reporter - The Ionian

Iona College hosted the Lovinsky Scholarship Fundraising Dinner on Oct. 26, honoring the late Jean-Claude Lovinsky and Eydie Jordan, the associate director of alumni relations. The Lovinsky scholarship was also awarded that night.

The dinner took place in Spellman Hall’s Thomas J. Burke Lounge where friends, family and colleagues gathered to celebrate the two long-time  staff members.

Lovinsky worked at Iona for over 30 years until he passed away in April of 2007. His wife, Lelienne Lovinsky, and three daughters, Stephanie Lovinsky-Doris, Dorcie Lovinsky and Nathalie Lovinsky, celebrated his legacy of love and care throughout the event.

“My father always wanted to put his best foot forward and he wanted others to do so too,” said Dorcie Lovinsky. “I know he would be proud to see all of you here to honor him.”

Just before dinner was served, the Iona College Praise Dancers performed and, following dinner, the Iona College Gospel Choir harmonized for the audience while guests ate dessert.

The performances really outlined the celebratory tone of the event.

The event is held in  mid-October to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Claude, said Lovinsky-Doris.

The event also happened to be on honoree Eydie Jordan’s birthday and the audience sang happy birthday not once, but twice, for her.

Jordan has been working at Iona since 1986 in the Alumni Relations office.

She has gained a reputation of being one of the nicest people you will ever meet, according to guest speakers and family members.

“You may have noticed the sunflowers on all of the tables here tonight, but the most beautiful sunflower in the room is sitting right there,” said master of ceremonies and Senior Director for Student Success Brother Kevin Devlin, pointing to Jordan.

Wendy Jordan-Catapano, the daughter of Eydie Jordan, led the room in prayer before dinner.

Afterward, Devlin insisted that Jordan be the first to get on the buffet-style dinner line.

“Eydie would normally wait for everyone to eat and then get on the dinner line, so tonight if she doesn’t lead we don’t eat,” said Devlin.

It is that quality of compassion that makes Jordan a perfect candidate to be honored in the spirit of Lovinsky.

“Jean-Claude’s life was full of spirituality, song and praise and it is truly an honor to receive this award,” said Jordan.

“These two people have something very special in common,” said Theresa Gottlieb, a member of Iona’s Board of Trustees and the event’s award presenter. “They both show us that to be a true Ionian you don’t have to graduate. They represent the best Iona can offer, they bleed maroon and gold.”

“I am so honored and proud. I can’t think of a nicer place to work than Iona,” said Jordan. “Thank you for being here for me and for Jean-Claude, he was a wonderful man.”

The final event of the evening was the introduction of the 2013 Lovinsky Scholarship recipient junior Narissa Black.

In addition senior Sarah Guy earned the scholarship for the second year in a row after being the first to receive it in 2012.

Black simply thanked all parties involved for the honor and wished a good night to all.

The Lovinsky Scholarship is awarded to students of Haitian or Caribbean descent who are extremely involved in charitable events.

It is hoped that in the future, an even greater impact can be made by the scholarship.

“With successful fundraising events and other donations we hope to continue to expand the number of Jean-Claude Lovinsky scholars and the amount of awards in the future,”said Kathryn Wiegand, Mission and Ministry’s director of music.