Alumnus Ralph J. DiRuggiero Honored at Annual President’s Business Council Award Dinner

Oct 22, 2014

Ralph J. DiRuggiero was presented with the President’s Medal at the 13th Annual Award Dinner at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. From left, University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., DiRuggiero and Thomas O’Brien, chair of the PBC.

The University’s President’s Business Council (PBC) honored Ralph J. DiRuggiero of the University’s class of 1973 with the President’s Medal at the 13th Annual Award Dinner Oct. 9 at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. DiRuggiero serves as senior vice president for property management at Paramount Group, Inc.

Proceeds from the black-tie gala, which raised $1.15 million, support the University’s Presidential Scholarship Endowment Fund. Presidential Scholarships are four-year, full-tuition, merit-based scholarships awarded to the top students entering the Jesuit university’s freshman class each year.

“Tonight’s dinner provides opportunities for our Presidential Scholars to attend The University of Scranton and to participate in this transformational experience. Your generosity helps to make this happen,” said University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J. “As a Jesuit and Catholic university our primary mission is the education and formation of students in such a way that they become men and women of faith and of service to their communities.”

Benjamin Turcea spoke on behalf of the Presidential Scholars at the 13th Annual Award Dinner.

Benjamin Turcea, a Presidential Scholar in the class of 2015, spoke on behalf of the Presidential Scholars. Turcea, a double major in international studies and philosophy and a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program, discussed the impact the scholarship had on him by allowing him to attend the University and to study and travel abroad to Uganda and South Africa.

“I have grown in the University community, but have also left my comfort zone, that place on 800 Linden Street. I’ve observed a greater world that struggles and succeeds and suffers and endures,” said Turcea. “I saw Jesuits, and those informed by Jesuit spirituality, as agents in the world, outside Northeastern Pennsylvania. The University of Scranton, the Jesuits, and you have invested in me; now, I am ready to move forward and invest my efforts in shaping the world as a more Jesuit place.”

Thanking the more than 550 attending the dinner, Turcea said “Your generosity, for those whom you do not even know, has led me toward this end.”

In presenting the President’s Medal to DiRuggiero at the event, the University and the PBC recognize the honoree’s excellence in their field and extraordinary compassion for others.

“Ralph, you and Susan have been faithful and loyal supporters of our University for many years. Your graciousness, dedication and humility are commendable qualities that we should all emulate,” said Father Quinn.

A veteran of the real estate investment and management industry, DiRuggiero joined Paramount Group Inc. (PGI) in 2001 and is responsible for all aspects of property management operations and security. PGI is headquartered in New York City and has a current portfolio of 14.25 million-square-feet of space in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from The University of Scranton and a master’s of public administration from The City University of New York (Baruch College).

Some of the professional organizations where DiRuggiero holds leadership roles are: the board of directors of Building Owners and Managers Association of New York (BOMA/NY), the management division board of directors of Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the commercial management council of REBNY, the Real Estate Roundtable & its Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC), and The Greenprint Foundation.

DiRuggiero has previously been recognized for his professional accomplishments and commitment to the community as the recipient of the 2014 Heart to Heart Award from Encore Community Services, the 2012 Lifetime Award from Covenant House New York, the 2010 George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year Award from the NY Real Estate Board, the 2003 Tiro A Segno Foundation Business Person of the Year Award, and the 2005 Torch Foundation Professional of the Year Award.

A native of Belleville, New Jersey, Ralph served as a member of the University senate and was student body president during his time on campus. He and his wife, Susan, have a daughter, Caitlin ’10.

The event surpassed its fundraising goal of $1.1 million.

This year’s Dinner co-chairs were Edward Abbot, Esq., partner, Hawkins Parnell Thackston and Young LLP, and Scott Salmirs, executive vice president, ABM Industries, Inc. Thomas O’Brien ’86, chief operating officer and president of SumRidge Partners, LLC, serves as chair of the PBC.

The University of Scranton’s class of 2015 Presidential Scholars include, front row, from left, Maria Cleary, Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Catherine Thurston, Lake Ariel; and Michelle Graham, Succasunna, New Jersey. Standing are: Joseph Breslin, Arlington, Virginia; Michael McCabe, Doylestown; Dustin Frisbie, Tunkhannock; and Benjamin Turcea, Baltimore, Maryland. Absent from photo were Joshua Ray Jimenez, Binghamton, New York, and Victoria Wrightson, Jessup. 

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