ONONDAGA — Onondaga Community College (OCC) has established the Vincent Spadafora Memorial Scholarship Endowment, to honor the memory of the professor emeritus.
Spadafora served as an assistant professor in OCC’s electronic-media communications department for 40 years. He died on March 15 of last year.
Edward (Ed) Levine, president and CEO of Galaxy Communications, LLC, will match every dollar raised by the end of the current academic year until the endowment reaches a level of $25,000, OCC said in a news release today.
The scholarship will assist both current and future OCC students majoring in electronic-media communications, the college said.
People like Spadafora are “the backbone of the industry, training tomorrow’s broadcasters,” Levine said in the release.
“I knew Vince for more than 25 years. He was always great at supplying our radio stations with qualified student-interns who showed up on time, worked hard, and wanted to be serious broadcasters. Often those internships turned into jobs. Their performance is a reflection of how he taught and trained his students at OCC. He taught them about being a real-world broadcaster because he was one himself,” Levine said.
Spadafora, who graduated from OCC in 1973, worked in the broadcast industry for four decades. Besides his role as an instructor, he also served as chair of the electronic-media communications department.
In addition to his academic and professional work, Spadafora was a sergeant in the U.S. Army while serving two tours of duty in Vietnam.
Spadafora also served as president and league representative for the Tri Valley Pop Warner Football Conference and is a member of the National Pop Warner Football Hall of Fame, according to OCC.
Elaine Spadafora, Spadafora’s widow, said in the OCC news release that she believes her late husband’s classroom teaching “touched” many of his students, and in that respect, “he is not really gone.”
“He still sits beside you in the broadcast booth. His lawn chair is alongside yours at the car show. He still stands along the pier and guides you safely back to camp. He still looks out for all of us and helps the best he can. Though we may not feel it now, he is still there making us smile and sharing a laugh. It means so much to our family and to all who admired and respected Vinny, to honor his memory through this scholarship endowment at Onondaga that will support students for years to come,” Elaine Spadafora said.
The public can make scholarship donations in Spadafora’s honor at www.sunyocc.edu/giving or by calling the OCC Foundation at (315) 498-6060.
Contact Reinhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org