|Cresson’s John and Genevieve Calandra Honored By Mount Aloysius College||05/6/2012|
Cresson, Pa. – During Commencement at Mount Aloysius College a Cresson couple, John and Genevieve Calandra, were honored for business and community leadership, and for their decades of quite philanthropy in support of many non-profit organizations across the Southern Alleghenies. Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley personally presented the couple with the Doctor of Social Justice degree, honoris causa, as a highlight of the 72nd Annual Commencement Convocation. The event was held at Mount Aloysius College in the Health and Fitness Center on Saturday, May 5th. During the event, President Tom Foley also conferred 12 masters’ degrees, 191 bachelor’s degrees and 195 associate’s degrees as 398 Mount Aloysius students joined the ranks of nearly 14,000 Mountie alumni worldwide.
The Doctoral Citation, honoring John M. and Genevieve J. Calandra, reads:
John and Genevieve Calandra, as part of each commencement, Mount Aloysius College honors an individual who has demonstrated a life-long commitment to our local community consistent with the values of Catherine McAuley and the Religious Sisters of Mercy. In so doing, the College presents a model to our graduates of service informed and inspired by faith. It is with great pleasure this year that we honor you together, a couple presenting a compelling example of a partnership in faith--an active faith lived generously in service to others.
Your partnership dates back to your time as high school sweethearts. As you fulfilled your Christian vocation to “increase in wisdom and…in favor with God and man,” you did so together. In your married life, you have truly “rowed the boat together,” and you have navigated that boat by certain fixed stars. For you Jack, there were the examples of your immigrant father who had the faith to brave the unknown in hope of a better life; and his friend and your mentor, Bob Seese, a Navy man whose personal and professional qualities you so admired. For you, Genevieve, there was the example of your mother, Marie Hart, a life-long teacher and educator—as successful as she was beloved—a pioneering professional woman who rose to become a principal in the Cresson schools.
Pulling together has made your journey easier and brought blessings to your family life and professional pursuits. Jack, after attending the University of Pennsylvania on scholarship—where you succeeded in academics, athletics, and as president of your fraternity—you returned to run the family business. You built on your father’s legacy and, over time, grew the business exponentially. Always an economic and employment engine for the region, under your guidance the business has expanded beyond steel and machining into trucking, civil construction, and support industries for mining that include tunneling and the manufacture of fasteners and roof-support systems. Today the family business has a global reach with operations as far away as Australia and China. It is a story of extraordinary business success. Your partnership of faith and shared sacrifice has meant blessings for your family as well. Together you have nurtured and raised six children and seen them through to successful careers in the fields of health, business, psychology, and military service.
In his encyclical Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II, spoke of the four dimensions of marriage. The first two, serving life and the forming of a community of persons, refer to the personal realm. The Church in its understanding of the sacramental nature of marriage sees it as integrally bound to community and so calls for a movement beyond the personal to a participation in the development of society and to a sharing in the life and mission of the Church. It is these last two aspects that we especially wish to honor today.
As a couple, you are known throughout central Pennsylvania for your philanthropic support of non-profit groups dedicated to enhancing life, protecting lives, and promoting wellbeing. A hallmark of your generosity is the quiet, often anonymous, way in which you shared. A sample of local groups and projects you have supported includes the fire company, the ambulance service, food pantry, canine unit, Veteran’s and Children’s Parks, and even the local golf course. Jack, you have also devoted three decades of service to the Naval Academy Foundation and its mission to enhance the Academy’s programs in academics, athletics, and leadership as well as advance the admission of highly qualified candidates. In this last regard, you have personally guided dozens of young aspirants on their way to the Academy and on to careers in the United States Navy.
John and Genevieve Calandra inspired by your witness of faith, humbled by your generosity of spirit, and grateful for your life-long commitment to our local community, Mount Aloysius College proudly confers upon you now the degree Doctor of Social Justice, honoris causa, this fifth day of May two thousand and twelve.
CAPTION: Cresson couple, John and Genevieve Calandra, prepares to receive their Doctor of Social Justice Degree, honoris causa, from Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley. From left to right are: President Foley; Dr. Timothy Fulop, senior vice president for academic affairs; Mrs. Genevieve Calandra and Mr. John M. Calandra. Applauding the Cresson couple, at far right, is fellow Honorary Degree Recipient, Dr. Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University.