Molloy College held its annual gala on Nov. 1, at the college’s Madison Theatre. The Evening of Entertainment included food, cocktails and music by The Fab Four, a band that pays tribute to The Beatles.
The 2019 honorees were Diane M. Dwyer and Bernadette O’Grady Prato, both of whom graduated in 1980 and received the Distinguished Alumni Award; Sister Alexandria Wolochuk, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Lessing’s Hospitality Group, which received The Corporate Leadership Award.
“The honorees represent not only the best of Molloy, but the best of Long Island and beyond,” Dr. Drew Bogner, Molloy’s president, said. “Their continued leadership and commitment to excellence are examples not only for our students, but for all of us.”
The Distinguished Alumni Award goes to an alumnus “who has demonstrated the true spirit of the college’s mission and whose professional career is characterized by a series of outstanding achievements,” according to John P. McEntee, chairperson of the Molloy College Board of Trustees. Prato received a degree in nursing and worked in medical sales, becoming a top sales executive for corporations specializing in craniofacial implants.
“Throughout her career and as an active member of her community, Bernadette epitomizes the Dominican tradition of service,” Bogner said.
Dwyer is an attorney and provides pro bono legal services to The Safe Center of LI, Inc.
“Participating in projects related to legal education and technology,” Bogner said, “Diane has made significant contributions to the community, her colleagues and Molloy College.”
To be given the Lifetime Achievement Award, recipients must be “recognized as solid corporate citizens who demonstrate exceptional leadership and service within their community,” according to Bogner. Wolochuk has been teaching for 40 years and currently teaches introduction to thesis courses at Molloy College in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program.
“At the heart of her mission at Molloy, Sister Alex champions, inspires and advises her students in their development as consummate professionals,” Bogner said, “and as generous contributors to the community at large.”
Every year, an organization is recognized for its “exceptional business practices.”
“Lessing’s Hospitality Group, as one of the oldest family-owned, continuously operated and highly diverse food service companies operating in the United States,” McEntee said, “is a worthy recipient of the Corporate Leadership Award.”
The company was founded in 1890 and has more than 120 locations in the Northeast and Florida. The company, McEntee said, has demonstrated ethical leadership and social commitment through various initiatives such as fundraisers, beach cleanups and “green” campaigns. Lessing’s provided the dinner for the gala.
The event co-chairs were Salvatore Ciampo, a member of the Molloy College Board of Trustees, and Laura Farahani, assistant vice president for finance, ABCO Peerless Sprinkler Corp. The gala is one of Molloy’s chief fundraising vehicles; proceeds from the event support student scholarships.
“This year’s gala was a tremendous success,” said Edward J. Thompson, Molloy’s vice president for advancement. “In particular, we are pleased that we significantly added to our scholarship fund, which enables us to help so many of our students each and every year.”