2019 Iona College Trustees Award Gala Raises Funds for Student Scholarships

Iona Forever

Thomas A. Davenport, MD, FACS, '88, Ronald DeCicco '70 and Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. at the 2019 gala.

From Left: Thomas A. Davenport, MD, FACS, '88, Ronald DeCicco '70 and Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D.

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The 2019 Iona College Trustees Scholarship Award Gala celebration once again honored outstanding alumni in celebration of the College's mission of service, scholarship and lifelong learning. The 57th annual event raised more than $700,000 for Iona and its students and took place on April 12 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City with nearly 500 guests in attendance.

Friends of Iona gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the Iona College Legacy and Blessed Edmund Rice Humanitarian Award honorees. The Board of Trustees presented the Legacy Award to Ronald DeCicco '70, who served as CEO of Pershing LLC. The award is bestowed upon unique individuals in recognition of their lifetime accomplishments.

The Humanitarian Award, named to honor the founder of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, recognizes those who by their activities and service to others have reinforced Iona's identity as a College founded in the tradition of the Congregation of Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. Iona presented the Blessed Edmund Rice Humanitarian Award to Thomas A. Davenport, MD, FACS, '88, who, after graduating from Iona College, attended Yale School of Medicine and has used his gifts in medicine to serve others, particularly through active medical volunteerism in developing countries.

In addition, Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., the eighth president of Iona College was celebrated in appreciation of his distinguished contributions in leading Iona College. President Nyre's eight-year tenure at Iona concludes at the end of June 2019 when he will assume the presidency of Seton Hall University.

"It is my distinct privilege to congratulate the honorees, Ronald DeCicco and Dr. Thomas Davenport," said President Nyre. "Ron and Tom are the living evidence of the transformational power of an Iona College education.  We chose to honor them for tremendous careers and perhaps most importantly for how they have chosen to live their lives."

In accepting the awards, Mr. DeCicco and Dr. Davenport joined an impressive group of past honorees, including His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan '14H, Francis Cardinal Spellman, New York Governor Malcolm Wilson, U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the New York Police Department, and the 15 Iona alumni lost in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

"The Trustees Award Gala celebrates Iona College's tradition of dedication of academic excellence and service to the community," said James P. Hynes ’69, ’01H, chairman of Iona College's Board of Trustees. "The Board has selected Ronald DeCicco and Dr. Thomas Davenport because they portray and live the mission of our College.  We are also honored this year to recognize the accomplishments of the eighth president of Iona College, Dr. Joseph E. Nyre, during his eight years of leadership."

Founded in 1940, Iona College is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre campus is just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 45,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering 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’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2020.” Iona College also recently launched a new, fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility.