NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Columbus Citizens Foundation today announced Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D., President of the Italian Language Foundation; Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Chairperson of NYS Mentoring Program; and Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., Dean of the Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University, as honorees of the 2018 Columbus Celebration. They will join First Data President, Guy Chiarello, who was previously announced as 2018 Grand Marshal.
Marian Pardo, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, said of the announcement: "In 2018, we made the decision to have the Parade focus on the importance of education to Italian Americans. Our three Honorees collectively have moved mountains in the area of education – with achievements that include the support and growth of AP Italian, the creation of mentoring opportunities across New York State, and the development of the business leaders of tomorrow. We are so proud to honor these incredible leaders in education."
Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D. serves as the President of the Italian Language Foundation. Dr. Cuomo is a key advocate for the creation and growth of the AP Italian Language and Culture exam on a national level. She is being honored alongside her mother, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, New York State's beloved former First Lady. Mrs. Matilda Cuomo is currently active in the state as the Chairperson for the NYS Mentoring Program.
"It is a special honor for us to be recognized by the prestigious Columbus Citizens Foundation for the work we have both done to enrich the lives of young people," noted Dr. Cuomo. "We are so thankful to the Columbus Citizens Foundation for this award, and we look forward to celebrating 2018's theme of education as we join the Grand Marshal in this year's parade."
Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., dean of the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University, leads a school where students learn that all business leaders are responsible for contributing more to the world than just profit. The Gabelli School challenges them to think about how they can use business approaches to add to the greater good, perhaps even helping to solve large-scale social problems.
On being named a 2018 Honoree, Dr. Rapaccioli had this to say: "As an Italian American, I learned from my parents and grandparents that education is the key to lasting progress. I hope to instill that belief in students of all backgrounds, along with an understanding of the value of service. These are ideals that I am proud to hold in common with the Columbus Citizens Foundation."
The annual Columbus Day Parade, organized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation, is the world's largest celebration of Italian-American heritage and culture in the United States.
The Columbus Day Parade was first started in 1929 when New York City businessman and Italian immigrant Generoso Pope led a parade from East Harlem to Columbus Circle and has since become an ongoing celebration of the contributions of Italians and Italian-Americans to the United States. The theme of this year's parade is "Education: Cornerstone of the Italian-American Experience," and will celebrate students, teachers and institutions of learning in a parade filled with a variety of cultural and musical groups.
In addition to planning the Columbus Day Parade, the Columbus Citizens Foundation currently provides over 700 scholarships at elementary, high school and college levels to Italian-American students who have academic ability but lack financial means.
The Columbus Day Parade begins at 11:30 a.m. EST on Monday, October 8 and will air live locally on WABC-7 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. For more information on the Parade, please visit columbuscitizens.org.
MORE ABOUT THE COLUMBUS CITIZENS FOUNDATION
The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York's Fifth Avenue since 1929. For more information, contact [email protected].
MORE ABOUT MARGARET I. CUOMO, M.D.
In addition to her work as President of the Italian Language Foundation, Dr. Cuomo is the author of A World Without Cancer: The Making of a New Cure and the Real Promise of Prevention, published by Rodale in 2012. She speaks nationally on disease prevention and advocates for cancer prevention through her interactions with policymakers and legislators. Dr. Cuomo is married to Howard Maier, and is the proud mother of Marianna Cuomo Maier, Christina Cuomo Diver, Esq., married to Paul Diver, Ph.D., and the grandmother of Mario Cuomo Diver.
MORE ABOUT MATILDA RAFFA CUOMO
Matilda Raffa Cuomo is the Chair of the NYS Mentoring Program, and at 87, remains a teacher dedicated to public service, as evidenced by her longstanding role as a respected and distinguished advocate on behalf of women, children, and families. As First Lady of New York State (1983-1995), she diligently worked with state and elected officials and community leaders to establish programs to prevent child abuse, strengthen families, promote adoption for foster care children, and improve school absenteeism and retention. Mrs. Cuomo is the proud mother of five children, 14 grandchildren, including one grandson named Mario Nicholas Cuomo, and one great-grandson named Mario Cuomo Diver.
MORE ABOUT DONNA RAPACCIOLI, Ph.D.
Dr. Donna Rapaccioli is Dean of the Gabelli School of Business and holds the rank of University Professor. Dr. Rapaccioli serves on the Board of Trustees of Emmanuel College in Boston and the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) Board, and is a Director on the State Street Global Advisors Mutual Fund Board. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Fordham University's London Centre, the Steering Committee for Fordham's Consortium for Social Justice, and the Board of Advisors of the Fordham Corporate Law Center.
SOURCE Columbus Citizens Foundation