An alumnus from the class of 1969, Rick Falconi is the epitome of the meaning of “volunteer”. In over 40 years of involvement with Franklin Pierce, both in the Alumni Association and in other activities, Rick never stopped giving back to the school which meant everything to him.
Rick had the unique ability to attract and involve fellow alumni to whatever project he was involved in. He never said no when it came to Franklin Pierce, and he was respected and admired by everyone who worked with him, including all the Presidents of Franklin Pierce who knew him.
Rick was one of the founding members of the Alumni Association in the early 1970’s. For over 15 years he served as both a board member and on the executive committee as chair of both the Membership and By-Laws Committee and the Alumni Reunion Weekend Committee.
Rick’s volunteer work continued into 2010 when he was asked to become Chairman of the 50th Anniversary Committee to plan the University’s 50th Anniversary celebration. Rick devoted two years to this effort and the results were nothing short of spectacular. He worked with every University constituency to design, coordinate, and program a full year of events in honor of that occasion, including a special display of University memorabilia at the Rindge historical society.
At the same time, Rick was instrumental in the effort to honor the memory of Dr. Clifford Coles. In three years, Rick saw to it that over $25,000 was raised to honor the memory of the University’s first Academic Dean, a person who played a large role in the lives of many Franklin Pierce’s pioneer students. As with everything Rick did for Franklin Pierce, it was never about him, it was about someone else or about being sure that Franklin Pierce would continue long after he was no longer here.
The last project Rick undertook was to lead a team of fellow alumni in reorganizing and identifying the thousands of items in the university’s archives to preserve the history of Franklin Pierce for future generations. While Rick did not live to see this project to its conclusion, the work continues thanks to his initiative.
In the words of Julie Zahn, Assistant Vice President of Alumni & Parent Relations at Franklin Pierce, “it was Rick Falconi’s vision that helped establish the Alumni Association, which, after more than 40 years, continues the work he started of building lifelong relationships between the University and its alumni, students, faculty/staff, and friends. Without Rick’s lifetime of hard work, dedication, and commitment, neither the university nor the Alumni association would be where they are today.”
For his devotion to, and tireless lifelong efforts on behalf of Franklin Pierce, Rick was honored with only one award in his lifetime, the 2012 Alumni Participation Award, which was re-named after his passing and is now the Richard (Rick) Falconi ’69 Lifetime Alumni Volunteer Award. It is only fitting that this Lifetime Alumni Volunteer Award is also named in memory of Rick, in recognition for the volunteer work on behalf of Franklin Pierce University, its alumni, its students, and its traditions.