2012 McQuaid Medal for Distinguished Service Recipients
McQuaid Medals are awarded to members of the University community who have shown outstanding service to the University. This year's McQuaid Medal for Distinguished Service recipients are:
Rev. Monsignor James M. Cafone ’61, S.T.D.
Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees
Member of the Board of Regents
Minister to the Priest Community
Tenured Assistant Professor of Religion,
College of Arts and Sciences
That his religion courses are consistently over-subscribed is just one testament to how esteemed Msgr. James Cafone is at Seton Hall.
Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark in 1965, Monsignor Cafone has been at the University since 1968. In addition to serving as a tenured assistant professor in the Department of Religion, he has served for the last 13 years as Minister to the Priest Community and is vice chair of the Board of Trustees and a member of the Board of Regents.
He has served on numerous University committees, including the Educational Policy Committee, and was a long-standing member of the Personnel Committee in the Department of Religion.
In 1972, he was named the spiritual director of the College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and served in that position until 1985. During that time he played a key role in acquiring for the college seminary the former Saint Andrew Episcopal Church on Center Street. When fire destroyed the church building, he spearheaded the seminary’s reconstruction.
In 1985, he was named vice rector and Director of Formation of Immaculate Conception Seminary, which had returned to campus the previous year. For five years he worked on integrating the seminary’s new role as the University’s School of Theology within a solid program of priestly formation.
For the Archdiocese, Monsignor Cafone has served on many committees, including the Presbyteral Council and the Priest Personnel Policy Committee, and he has been a long-time member of the Editorial Board for the Catholic Advocate. Since 1993, he has served as a theological consultant and writer for RENEW International and has given many adult education courses in various parishes. A sacramental minister for the Office of Campus Ministry, he assists students with advice and counsel and serves as weekend assistant at local parishes, including Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange.
Monsignor Cafone earned an M.A. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Seton Hall University and the doctorate (S.T.D.) in Moral and Spiritual Theology from the Catholic University of America. His dissertation topic was “The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Theology of Charles Grandison Finney.”
Mary Levante Gross, B.A. ’00
Secretary, Department of Athletics
When she was looking for a job, Mary Gross’s first stop was Seton Hall Prep. With no open positions there, her next stop was the University, where she became a part-time secretary in the College of Nursing in September 1985. Ever since, she has been a respected and valued employee.
During her 26 years on campus, her son, Neal Giacomelli ’97, earned his degree, she earned one for herself and she married Dr. Daniel Gross, a mathematics professor.
“A lot of people, once they or their children get their degrees, feel it’s time to move on,” she said. “But the University is such a family, I feel I belong to something."
In some ways, Gross has been a pioneer. In 1989, she became the first administrative assistant in the new School of Graduate Medical Education. After working for a time in the Campus Ministry office, she became the first administrative assistant in the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations in 1997.
“I feel every position I took I contributed something of myself. It was like I was leaving a fingerprint behind. As I look back now, grad-med and diplomacy have developed into such prominent schools on campus, and I was part of that, and it’s rewarding.”
She also took an avid interest in the welfare of her co-workers. As a shop steward of Local 153, she was on the contract negotiating team and now serves on the 200-member union’s labor management committee.
“Whenever we pull together a contract it’s always a highlight because it’s servicing a hard-working group that contributes greatly to the University,” she said.
Since 1998, Gross has been a secretary in the athletic director’s office. “It’s a totally different side of academics,” she said. “You’re looking at student-athletes who are not only trying to succeed in the classroom but also trying to succeed on a field or a court.”
Wyatt Rorer Murphy Jr., Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
College of Arts and Sciences
Rory Murphy joined the faculty at Seton Hall University in 1984. A popular professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, he also has an estimable reputation for his research in the field of bio-inorganic chemistry.
His books and articles are cited widely and his exhaustive dedication to mentoring students and encouraging new faculty has won him recognition and respect. Moreover, he has been tireless in procuring funding and grants for an array of programs from organizations like the Pfizer Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
As a member of the University committee that guides the use of Clare Booth Luce Foundation funds in support of hiring female faculty in the fields of math and science, Murphy has played a significant role in hiring six outstanding female faculty for the Seton Hall community. He also successfully petitioned the foundation for additional funds that so far have allowed Seton Hall to provide full tuition scholarships to more than 44 undergraduates. After receiving their diplomas here, some have gone on to attend the nation’s most prestigious graduate schools.
Murphy’s interaction with students is overriding. He enjoys teaching upper level and graduate courses in inorganic chemistry and his contributions to CHEM 1107-1108 have indelibly shaped the standard course for all chemistry and biochemistry majors at Seton Hall.
He pioneered the research experience program in which all freshmen chemistry and biochemistry students form groups and engage in a real research project for the entire semester. Students consistently point to the hands-on experience as something that was not only a great way to begin undergraduate research but also opened their eyes to new fields.
In his research, Murphy uses spectroscopic techniques to understand how metal complexes bind to DNA. The ultimate aim of this research is to better understand the structure of DNA and to develop new therapies for treatment of disease.
Murphy received a B.S. from Hampden-Sydney College, an M.S. and Ph.D. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.