The Distinguished Service Award, the most prestigious honor given by the Fredonia College Foundation, was presented to three honorees at a special May 11 dinner/dance in the Williams Center. Alumni Dr. J. Brien Murphy, ’53, ’56; and Michael Schiavone, ’78, along with the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, were each honored with the bi-annual award which recognizes citizens and organizations that make significant contributions to society through business, government, education and the arts.
The event’s proceeds were once again directed to SUNY Fredonia’s Keeper of the Dream Scholarship and Leadership Program.
The Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation was selected because of its work as a leader in funding charitable causes and efforts of Northern Chautauqua County. For over 27 years, the organization has improved the community through the promotion of local philanthropy, strategic grant making and community leadership. It has directed over $8.8 million in support funding across the region since 1986, and currently maintains more than 360 endowment funds.
President Peter Clark and Executive Director Diane Hannum accepted the award on behalf of the foundation.
Dr. Murphy’s career included 38 years among the faculty of SUNY Fredonia and the Campus School, serving as chair of the elementary and early childhood education department, and coordinator of graduate studies. He also served the Fredonia College Foundation Board of Directors for over 30 years, including as its secretary from 1986 to 2005. In addition, he was president of the Fredonia Alumni Association, chair of the Fredonia Faculty Council, and vice president of the Fredonia Emeritus Faculty and Staff Association. He has also served the community outside of the college, including as secretary of the Hillman Memorial Music Association, president of the Dunkirk Free Library, and a director of the Chautauqua County Agricultural Association and the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County.
Mr. Schiavone, a senior partner of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP since 1987, has enjoyed a distinguished 30-year legal career. He has served as chairman of his firm’s Business Department, as well as a member of its Management Committee since 1988. He has been named to the Best Lawyers in America in Corporate Law; Super Lawyers in Business and Corporate/Sports Law; Business First/Buffalo Law Journal’s Who’s Who in Law, and has received the AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale- Hubbell Peer Review Rating for Legal Ability and Ethical Standards. His service to SUNY Fredonia has included serving on the board of the Fredonia College Foundation since 2004, including as its chair from 2010 to 2011. He also serves on the School of Business Advisory Council. He was a key contributor to the foundation’s recent $15 million “Doors to Success” capital campaign, and he and his wife, Cheryl, have established the Schiavone Family Endowment to generate scholarships through the foundation.
All three recipients were congratulated by President Horvath, on behalf of current Fredonia College Foundation Board Chair Debra (Horn) Stachura, ’75, and Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director David M. Tiffany, and the rest of the foundation board. Gifts to the foundation support SUNY Fredonia’s most critical programs: scholarships, research, international study, internships, externships, academic departments, athletics and more. These are the programs that define the educational experience at SUNY Fredonia and transform students’ lives.