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College Marks 75th with Day of Service

On Saturday, September 19, over 400 students, faculty and staff celebrated the 75th anniversary of Iona College by donating their time to volunteer at one of 16 community organizations for various clean-up projects. The festivities began on the campus quad in front of Cornelia Hall, where registrants participated in a brief ceremony and gathered for a commemorative group photo with a message welcoming Pope Francis to New York. 

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New Rochelle, NY, 9/16/15
– Saturday, September 19, 2015, marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of Iona College. To commemorate this historic day, students, faculty, and alumni are organizing, recruiting for and participating in multiple service projects on and around the 19th.
 “This day is a time to both remember and renew the inspirational legacy of Blessed Edmund Rice and his dedication to service,” said Dr. Joseph E. Nyre, Iona College’s president. “Living a life in service to others is indeed a life well lived. As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of our opening, we join together in an international day of service to highlight and live our mission."
Hundreds of students, alumni and faculty have committed to a range of projects in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas – and the College’s 40,000 alumni, including those living abroad, have been invited to “live the mission” by participating in service in various ways. 

Many of the area projects focus on the environment in support of the Catholic Church’s first-ever encyclical devoted to the environment -- Pope Francis’ “Praised Be” published June 2015.  An encyclical is one of the highest forms of teaching from a pope as he interprets Catholic doctrine.

The Day of Service kicks off at 9 a.m. on September 19 with remarks by Dr. Nyre at Iona’s Columba Quad Lawn in New Rochelle – where Iona’s first president addressed its first students 75 years ago to the day.

Kimberleigh Costanzo, a 2014 Iona graduate, will be leading one of the projects at Wellspring Water, Inc. on Long Island – the non-profit she founded in 2011 after an Iona mission immersion trip to Zambia, Africa. “I was overwhelmed by the impact that a lack of clean water has on all aspects of life, particularly affecting women,” said Costanzo. “I started Wellspring to shorten the distance between clean water and those who need it most. I credit Iona for giving me the inspiration, education and support to serve others in this way.”
In addition to the Wellspring project, other service day projects will focus on park, shoreline, and community clean-up efforts, playground safety, graffiti removal, and work on a Habitat for Humanity house.
“Service goes hand-in-hand with an Iona education,” said Dr. Carl Procario-Foley, Iona’s director of the Office of Mission and Ministry. “The Day of Service grounds the College’s 75th anniversary in the values that motivated the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers who founded Iona: service, faith and social justice. I’m glad so many students, past and present, will be celebrating our anniversary on the 19th to help make the Earth greener and share our goodwill in the community.”
About Iona College: Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. It is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona College is the second largest private sector employer in New Rochelle.  

To learn more, visit,, or @IonaCollegeNY on Twitter. Day of Service Hashtag #IAMIona.

Media Contacts:
Dawn Insanalli, media relations director, Iona College, 914-217-4061
Ellen Thornhill, Albright Group, 804-690-6175,
JR Hipple, Albright Group, 404-966-2992,

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