“My Cabrinian education provided the foundation for my career and my life,” said Board of Trustees Chair Frank Emmerich Jr. (’92) as he welcomed guests to Cabrini’s Annual Visionaries Gala, held this year November 1 at Pomme in Radnor. “The Cabrini experience empowers students to find their passions and to channel that positive energy into creating change, doing good, and Living with Purpose.”
The proceeds from the annual black-tie-optional event, which features an awards ceremony, student speaker, silent auction, and “Make It Happen” fundraiser, benefits the student experience at Cabrini, funding scholarships and student- and mission-centered activities.
This year’s Visionaries Gala, which marked the fifth anniversary of the event, raised more than $192,000.
“I believe that everyone who has ever experienced the Cabrini spirit knows what a special place it is,” said University President Donald B. Taylor, PhD. “We’re here tonight to ensure that our beloved institution continues to grow, to safeguard the Cabrini experience for students of all backgrounds, and to secure the Cabrini mission to provide an Education of the Heart for future generations.”
The four individuals recognized with awards at the gala, along with the student speaker, are living examples of that positive energy and the Cabrini spirit.
The Compass Award
Joseph J. Romano, PhD, and Sharon C Schwarze, PhD
Professors Emeriti of Philosophy
The Compass Award recognizes individuals whose extended, continuous service promotes and defends the dignity of all in the spirit of the Cabrini tradition.
Romano is the longest tenured faculty member at the University, beginning as a lecturer in 1960. He served in many roles including Vice President for Academic Affairs. A leader in the field of critical thinking, Schwarze established Cabrini’s Honors Program and chaired the Philosophy department for 39 years.
The Luminary Award
Abel Rodríguez, JD (’01)
Founding Director of the Cabrini Center on Immigration
The Luminary Award honors a graduate within the previous 20 years for his or her inspirational success.
A highly regarded authority on issues of immigration law and policy, Rodríguez was a first-generation college student.
“I share this award with the true luminaries,” he said, noting immigrants who left their homes to flee dire conditions, his students who work multiple jobs to pay tuition, and his parents, who emigrated from Cuba 50 years ago. “I am infinitely grateful that you continuously teach me, inspire me, and always light my path.”
The Christopher Award for Extraordinary Leadership
Joan Buzzallino (’66)Trustee Emerita, Vice President, IBM (ret.)
Recipients of the Christopher Award embody Cabrini’s core values of access to education and service to others through their life’s work.
A champion of employee management and executive development throughout her career, Buzzallino has demonstrated tireless support for Cabrini through her generous philanthropy and extended service as a Trustee.
Buzzallino expressed her thanks to the Cabrini community for “so many gifts,” including the friendship of her classmates. “We were a pretty demanding crowd,” she said, also acknowledging the positive influence of the faculty and the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Student speaker Banesa Castaneda (’20), a first-generation student, followed Buzzallino at the podium.
“Cabrini University has been the greatest decision I’ve ever made,” said Castaneda, Vice President of the Finance Association and Treasurer of the Latino Professionals for America at the University. “Three years ago I could not have imagined that I would be given the opportunity to speak to you tonight, but that’s what Cabrini is about—giving you opportunities that you never expect.”
Cabrini University thanks the sponsors of the 2019 Visionaries Gala, and all those who made the evening possible.