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Fundraiser For Iona's DeFeo Family Endowed Scholarship Tops $1 Million

A recent dinner in honor of Ronald M. DeFeo raised more than $1 million for the college. Pictured, DeFeo, Madison Kirch, Kalen Sullivan, Merridith Delinois, Marci Dillion, Patrick Lynch, and Iona President Joseph E. Nyre.
A recent dinner in honor of Ronald M. DeFeo raised more than $1 million for the college. Pictured, DeFeo, Madison Kirch, Kalen Sullivan, Merridith Delinois, Marci Dillion, Patrick Lynch, and Iona President Joseph E. Nyre. Photo Credit: Iona College

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- More than $1 million was raised Tuesday night at a celebratory dinner in honor of Iona College alumnus and Trustee Ronald M. DeFeo on his retirement from Terex Corporation.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the DeFeo Family Endowed Scholarship at Iona College. The fund was originally created in 1970 by Steven R. Jacobson in memory of Noah DeFeo. In 2004, DeFeo and his wife, Andrea, revitalized the scholarship renaming it in honor of the DeFeo Family.

The DeFeo Family Endowed Scholarship supports and advances the academic careers of students. The scholarship is bestowed to full-time, undergraduate students selected based on financial need, academic quality, demonstrated leadership ability and a commitment to excellence.

Close to 150 guests -- including family, friends and colleagues of DeFeo, as well as five current students who are DeFeo Scholars -- were in attendance at the benefit held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, Conn.

“Your gifts ensure our students have the opportunity to achieve their academic aspirations and have the best college experience possible,” Iona President Joseph E. Nyre said. “Because of you, DeFeo Scholars will be able to create life-long relationships, broaden their interests and prepare for a successful future.”

DeFeo is now president and chief executive officer of Kennametal Inc., where he was a 14-year member of the board. Kennametal Inc. is a global industrial technology leader delivering productivity to customers through materials science, tooling and wear-resistant solutions. He was the chairman of the board of Terex Corporation, based in Westport, Conn., one of the world's leading manufacturers of construction equipment, through Dec. 31. DeFeo was with Terex for 23 years and served as chief executive officer, president and chief operating officer.

"We have a responsibility to help each student reach their potential -- education is the accelerator required,” said DeFeo. “The DeFeo Family Endowed Scholarship at Iona has already made a difference and with our success tonight we can now do so much more. If you can help someone, do it!"

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