It's All Greek to Me

By, Kathleen Feenan '17, Gael Community Ambassador

We have all seen the typical sorority girl or frat guy in the movies: drinking, partying, and getting into trouble.  But I am here to break that stereotype. Joining Iona’s Greek community has opened so many doors for me in academics, leadership, and service. Movies never show what being Greek is really about. They also don’t show the hours Greeks spend planning and organizing philanthropic and service events, the large number of students in honors programs, or the impressive internships and job offers Greek students are offered because of the work they have done with their organizations. These are important aspects of what being in a fraternity or sorority is really all about.

Iona has approximately 300 students in our five sororities (one international) and three fraternities (two national).  We also have a Council for Greek Governance (CGG) that serves as the governing body for all Greek organizations and facilitates community expectations and collaboration. CGG has seven pillars of excellence for the Greek community which include: Academic Excellence, Social Development, Membership Development, Community Engagement, Chapter Management, Brotherhood/Sisterhood, and Excellence in Leadership.

Member organizations host a wide array of educational events for the campus community. These events include anti-hazing events and drug and alcohol education events. Just this semester alone three Greek organizations teamed up to host “One Love,” an educational event on the signs, dangers, and ways to get out of an abusive relationship. Greek life participates in other clubs’ events as well, showing a hard-to-miss presence at events such as Relay for Life.  In last year’s Relay alone, Gamma Lambda Rho sorority raised almost $12,000 for cancer research.  IonaThon is another annual event where Greek life raises money and awareness for the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.
Pi Kappa Phi and Phi Sigma Sigma Cereal Drive

Greek life also participates in service days, where they do community service such as clean-ups of the surrounding neighborhoods including the White Oak Co-op Association, Mt. Joy Neighborhood Association, Halcyon Park Association, and the Greater Mt. Joy Association. Greeks have also participated in beach cleanups throughout Westchester, have volunteered at the New Rochelle Boys and Girls Club, and participated in Midnight Runs. Greek organizations do a lot when they come together, but they also participate in community service as individual organizations. For example, Pi Kappa Phi holds its semi-annual Ability Week fundraising, holding events, and spreading awareness for people with disabilities including those with Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a big focus of Pi Kappa Phi’s service work. They host weekly visits at Cerebral Palsy of Westchester, and Phi Sigma Sigma sorority often accompanies them.  Pi Kappa Phi and Phi Sigma Sigma also partner to host cereal drives for the local homeless shelter.

Other organizations have philanthropies as well.  Phi Sigma Sigma’s national cause is school and college readiness. Phi Sig holds events such as Lemonade for Literacy where they fundraise for the cause and host a campus wide spelling bee. They also are involved with the Bald Beauties Project and spread the word about this organization, which gives photo shoots to people who lose their hair from battling cancer in an attempt to make them feel beautiful and confident.  Phi Gamma Chi sorority is strongly devoted to the fight against AIDS.  They hold many fundraisers throughout the year for AIDS and breast cancer research. Delta Theta Beta has two blood drives every year, fundraises for Alzheimer’s, and holds events to remember those who lost their lives to cancer.  Delta Upsilon, an international fraternity celebrating its 25th year on Iona’s campus, hosts a campus wide talent show annually, Paint it Pink for Breast Cancer awareness, and fundraises for its philanthropy, the Global Service Initiative.

Delta Upsilon Fraternity hosts a community clean-up.
Academically, Iona has a higher standard for students wishing to become members of Greek organizations.  Some organizations even have their own, higher academic requirements for sisters and brothers.  Because of their focus on academics, service, and leadership, many Greek students get impressive internships and jobs at places like Ernst and Young, Tommy Hilfiger, Reader’s Digest, Entertainment Tonight, and JP Morgan.

Being Greek offers plenty of opportunities for student leadership. Being on the executive board, holding a committee position, or even being a part of an organization with such influence on campus gives these students many leadership roles. In addition, many of these students also pursue involvement in other areas of leadership. I am in a sorority, but I am also the Gael Community Ambassador for Iona’s off-campus student body. There are also Greek members involved as Commuter Assistants, Resident Assistants, and Student Campus Ministers. Several mission trip leaders and retreat leaders are also Greek.  Greeks hold executive board positions in clubs and organizations like Colleges Against Cancer, Marketing Club, Environmental Club, Gaelic Society, Iona College Television, and the Gaels Activity Board. 

Phi Sigma Sigma raises money for Relay for Life

Iona’s Greek community holds an incredible array of leadership roles, hosts community service projects, and pursues high academic achievements. The influence of Greek life on both the Iona community as well as the New Rochelle community can definitely not be overlooked.


Community Welcome Events

Iona hosts events that are free or discounted and open to the greater community. Iona invites you to partake in all that being part of a college community has to offer! Contact Michele Nelson, director of off-campus and commuter services, with questions at (914) 633-2243.

· Gallery Exhibition – “Small is Beautiful: The Microsculpture of Dalton Ghetti.” October 2 through December 1 in the Br. Kenneth Chapman Gallery. Opening Reception on October 2 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Artist Gallery Talk on November 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Free admission.
· Performance Yasmina’s Necklace by Rohina Malik. November 2 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Romita Auditorium. Free admission.
· Dance – “Celebration of Body, Mind and Spirit,” presented by the Iona College Dance Ensemble. November 4 at 7 p.m. in the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium. Admission: $10.
· Choral Music – “The Emperor and the Nightingale.” Presented by the Sound Shore Chorale. November 5 & 6 at 3 p.m. in the Ferdinand E. Arrigoni Center. Admission: $8 general, $5 senior citizens.
· Memorial – Veteran’s Day Memorial Service. November 10 at 12 p.m. on the Columba Quad lawn.  Lunch reception to follow in the Thomas J. Burke Lounge.
· Theatre Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola, presented by the Iona College Theatre Ensemble. November 17 at 7 p.m., November 18 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., November 19 and 20 at 1 p.m. in the Doorley Auditorium. Admission: $10.
· Thanksgiving Basket Blessing – Annual blessing of Thanksgiving baskets for local Westchester families. November 21 at 4 p.m. in the Mulcahy Gym.
· Film Screening – Annual Kristallnacht Commemoration: Italy and the Holocaust Film Screening of My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes. November 21 at 7 p.m. Question and answer session with Vincent Marmorale, President of the Italy and the Holocaust Foundation, to follow. Linda E. Kelly Theater, New Rochelle High School at 265 Clove Road. Free admission.
· Music– “Winter Concert.” Presented by the Iona College Instrumental and Vocal Ensemble. December 2 at 3 p.m. in the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium. Free admission.
· Classical Music – The Symphony of Westchester. December 11 at 3 p.m. in the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium. Admission $50 general, $35 senior citizens. For tickets, call (914) 654-4926.
Every effort has been made to provide accurate information. Programs are subject to change. Review for additional opportunities.

LaPenta Means Business

Iona College has announced plans for a new facility for its AACSB-accredited School of Business, a state-of-the-art academic building that will incorporate part of the existing Hagan Hall while nearly doubling the space for classrooms, lectures and faculty offices.
Architectural renderings and plans for the new building were shared with the campus community, neighbors and other members of the New Rochelle community. The designs and plans grew out of numerous meetings with students, faculty, staff and alumni over the last year.

“Iona College is committed to providing an unmatched student experience and to remaining a center for cutting-edge opportunities,” said President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. “This is a transformational project incorporating the historic Hagan Hall into the new building and our future.”

The facility will showcase the front of Hagan Hall, along with its iconic cupola, and will set it in an open glass atrium with views to the rest of campus.  The atrium, or Grand Hall, will be a gathering space and a venue for larger events than can currently be accommodated elsewhere on campus.  Along with state-of-the-art smart classrooms, case-study and breakout rooms, a business career center, quiet study space, and integrated faculty and administrative offices, the new structure will also feature an expanded and relocated LaPenta-Lynch Trading Floor, a School of Business centerpiece since it opened in October 2011. In all, the project will more than double the space available in the existing facility. The School of Business will be the first major academic building constructed in more than two decades.

View from inside Business School
The largest gift in the College’s history, $17.5 million from Trustee Robert V. LaPenta ’67, ‘00H, will make possible this new academic building at Iona. Mr. LaPenta, who announced a $15 million gift to the College in November 2015, later added an additional $2.5 million matching challenge to alumni of 1975-1995, all part of the College’s historic $150 million Iona Forever campaign.
“I am proud to support Iona’s mission of creating graduates who are smart, ethical, creative problem solvers,” Mr. LaPenta said when announcing his gift. “My time at Iona prepared me well to be successful in business, and to positively impact businesses and the livelihoods of others. I believe this gift will enhance Iona’s strong business school performance and reputation well into the 21st century.” 

Iona’s Board of Trustees reviewed and approved the concept and design of the building at its meeting in September. No firm schedule for construction has been set; however, if fundraising remains strong and the approval process with the City of New Rochelle continues as scheduled, the goal is to begin construction in late spring followed by an 18-month build to have the complex open for the start of the 2018-2019 academic year.

View of Business School
The College is working with the design and architectural firm Gensler to plan the program and physical spaces of the new facility. “Business schools now need to train graduates for a workplace that is changing faster than ever before,” said Mark Thaler, AIA, Gensler’s education practice leader. “The new Iona School of Business will be a forward-thinking transformational educational structure that will prepare students for this landscape.”

“The new structure will serve as a central gathering place for the Iona business school community and be a welcoming center for all students, alumni and the larger community,” said Provost Vincent J. Calluzzo, Ph.D. “It will offer endless possibilities including interactive learning spaces, increased faculty-student engagement, cutting-edge technology and venues to host lectures and events.”

Important Dates for 2016-2017

Sunday, August 21               First-Year Student Move-In Day
Monday, August 22              Campus Welcome Day
                                              No Undergraduate Classes
                                              Returning Students Move-In
Tuesday, August 23             Undergraduate Classes Begin
Monday, September 5         Labor Day – No Classes
Monday, October 10           Columbus Day – No Classes
Friday, November 11          Veterans Day – No Classes
Monday, November 21       Thanksgiving Basket Blessing
Wednesday, November 23 Thanksgiving Break Begins
Monday, November 28       Classes Resume
Tuesday, December 6         Last Day of Classes
Wednesday, December 7   Reading Day
Thursday, December 8       Undergraduate Finals Begin
Wednesday, December 14 Undergraduate Finals End
Thursday, December 15     Alternative Exam Day
Wednesday, December 23 College Offices Close
Tuesday, January 3              College Offices Open
Monday, January 16             Martin Luther King Jr. Day – No Day Classes
                                              Resident Students Move-In
Tuesday, January 17            Undergraduate Classes Resume
Monday, February 20          Presidents Day – No Day Classes
Monday, March 13               Spring Break Begins
Friday, March 17                 St. Patrick’s Day – Closed
Monday, March 20              Classes Resume
Thursday, April 13              Holy Thursday – Closed
Friday, April 14                   Good Friday – Closed
Sunday, April 16                 Easter
Monday, April 17                Easter Monday – No Day Classes
Tuesday, April 18               Classes Resume
Friday, May 5                      Last Day of Classes
Monday, May 8                   Undergraduate Finals Begin
Friday, May 12                    Undergraduate Classes End
Saturday, May 13                Alternative Exam Day
Monday, May 29                  Memorial Day – No Classes

LaPenta Goes Green

By Peter M. Letourneau, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor, Biology-Environmental Science

Nearly two years of planning and research have resulted in Iona’s first test "green roof" on the west side of the Robert V. LaPenta Student Union. The idea of a green roof a specially designed installation of vegetation and soils was initiated by an Environmental Studies major, Kevin King ’16. Interested in environmental planning and natural resource management, Kevin was inspired by a campus survey conducted for the environmental science class taught by his mentor, Dr. Peter M. LeTourneau.

The class looked at all aspects of the built and natural environment on the Iona campus, and discussed ways to improve the urban hydrology, reduce the carbon footprint, and add low-maintenance natural plantings to increase habitat potential and reduce maintenance costs.
Already well read in environmental planning, Kevin recalled articles about green roof installations in New York City, on many college campuses, and even major corporations, like the Ford Motor Company.
Kevin spent his junior year researching the potential for natural landscaping at Iona College, including drawing up preliminary plans for a green roof on LaPenta Student Union.

As part of his duties as president of the I.C. Green Environmental Action Club, and as student representative on Iona environmental committees, Kevin made a key contact with Andrew Albrecht, a supervisor of facilities.

Keen to promote environmental initiatives on campus, Albrecht held numerous planning meetings with Kevin, other environmental studies students, and Dr. LeTourneau to scope out the costs and feasibility of a small green roof installation.

As Kevin expanded his research in his senior year, Albrecht consulted with architects who advised him about weight requirements and other technical aspects of the LaPenta roof. Getting the "green light" from professionals and College administrators, put the project in high gear in the spring of 2016. With the arrival of specialized water-efficient planters and hardy varieties of sedum plants, the project was ready for installation in May.

Beginning with a blessing by College pastor Father Francis Dixon and with the help of the fantastic facilities crew, Kevin, Andrew, and Peter placed plants in the containers, the first step in what will become a program of "Growing Green at Iona College."

The green roof project is another great example of "learning by doing" at Iona College, where students "Move the World" by taking the initiative on innovative projects and engaging in creative collaborative research.

A New Leader in Student Life

Ms. Denise Hopkins, Vice Provost for Student Life
Iona College is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Denise Hopkins to the position of vice provost for Student Life at Iona College. Named to the post after a national search, Ms. Hopkins has had an outstanding career in the field of student life at a number of nationally recognized higher education institutions and joins the College at a pivotal time in the its history.

Ms. Hopkins will report to the provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs and serve as a member of the President's Cabinet, providing strategic leadership and support for the ongoing development and effective management of Residential Life, Off-Campus Housing, the Counseling Center, Health Services, Career Development, Campus Safety & Security, Student Development and Mission & Ministry. Ms. Hopkins joins Iona at a time when the College is completing construction of its seventh and one of its largest residence halls, fulfilling a strategic goal to offer four years of higher-quality housing to its students.

“Ms. Hopkins is a tremendous talent and we are fortunate to have her join the Iona family,” said President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. “We hosted many impressive candidates on campus and Denise stood out as a student life leader who prioritizes the student experience, with a supportive, yet results-oriented leadership style. I look forward to our students and campus benefiting from her notable experience.”

Ms. Hopkins most recently served as executive director of University Career Services and Leadership in the Division of Student Affairs at St. John’s University. In that capacity, she provided leadership, strategic direction and evaluation of a comprehensive career services program serving 20,000 undergraduates, graduate students and alumni on all campuses in the New York region. In addition, as a student affairs management team member, Ms. Hopkins worked directly with the university’s vice president for Student Affairs on setting strategy, goals, and on-going management of division programs and services, including, but not limited to, Residence Life, Multicultural Affairs, Counseling and Disability Services, Student Life, Fitness and Recreation, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Service, Student Activities, Student Government, Student Conduct, Student Communications and Orientation.

Ms. Hopkins joined St. John’s in 2003 as associate director of Student Development, and was promoted shortly thereafter to the position of dean of Student Life for the University’s Staten Island Campus. Previously, she was director of Student Affairs at Vaughn College and administrative director of Student Government at California State University, Stanislaus. Ms. Hopkins holds a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education and Postsecondary Education and Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature from CSU, Stanislaus. Ms. Hopkins resides in Ardsley, N.Y., with her husband, Robert, and their two sons.

Ongoing Community Resources

· Sunday Liturgy – Every Sunday during the academic year, the Office of Mission and Ministry co-hosts a Catholic Mass in Holy Family Church at 6 p.m.
· Hynes Athletics Center – Membership to Hynes Athletics Center is available for a fee. Contact (914) 637-7733 for more information.
· Speech, Language & Hearing Clinic – This center offers audiology, speech, and language evaluations at a reduced rate and treatment at a flat fee per semester. Services are conducted by students under the close supervision of the Speech Communication Studies faculty in Iona’s state-of-the-art clinic. Contact Maria Armiento-DeMaria at
· The Speaker’s Center Community members have the opportunity to utilize this relaxed environment to work on regional dialect, fear of public speaking, speech assignments, accent reduction, etc. Email Dr. Diane Ferrero-Paluzzi at or call (914) 633-2393.
· Athletic Events – To review the schedule of your favorite NCAA team and attend a game, please visit
· GAEL Aquatic Club – To learn more about a year-round competitive swim team for children ages six and up, contact Brian Hansbury, head coach of the Gael Aquatic Club, at or (914) 633-2323.
· Iona Marriage and Family Therapy Center – This center offers sliding scale therapy services to members of the community by students in the Marriage and Family Therapy program under the supervision of licensed psychologists. Contact (914) 633-2074 or (914) 633-2418.
· Learning in Retirement at Iona College (LIRIC) – This program offers courses and social activities for people of retirement age. Contact Suzanne Page at or call (914) 633-2675.
· Institute for Thomas Paine Studies – Iona houses the Thomas Paine National Historical Association Collection in Ryan Library. To view or visit the collection, contact Natalka Sawchuk at or (914) 633-2220.
· Take a Class – Contact the Office of Admissions at (914) 231-IONA.
· Br. Kenneth Chapman Gallery – Visit Iona’s gallery. It is open on Monday – Thursday from noon – 5 p.m., Thursday from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m., and Sunday from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. (during exhibitions).
· Arts Council – For a full list of Arts Council events, please visit