Robert S. Basso '67, Rev. Paul A. Holmes '77 and Nicholas R. Scalera '63 at the dedication of Bethany Hall in June. Basso, Father Holmes and Scalera are brothers in Phi Kappa Theta National Fraternity.
Robert S. Basso '67 of San Rafael, California was honored by Phi Kappa Theta National Fraternity as a 2018 Man of Achievement at its 2018 annual conference in Orlando, Florida in August.
The award recognizes members who have risen to prominence in their fields of endeavor. Basso received the award for his 45 years of executive experience in the field of finance and for his many acts of charity.
Basso is a long-time member of the Seton Hall University Board of Regents. He's also a philanthropist, generously supporting Seton Hall, New Jersey Phi Beta Chapter at Seton Hall, Phi Kappa Theta National Foundation and numerous charitable organizations.
In accepting his award, Basso recounted the major milestones in his personal life and professional career. He expressed appreciation to his family and friends who helped him along the way. Basso also emphasized the vital role played by Phi Kappa Theta and Seton Hall in shaping his views and values.
"My fondest memories of college life, and the lifelong friendships I've been blessed with, have all come because of our beloved fraternity and University," he said. "Giving back is perhaps the most important lesson we can ever learn, but clearly one imparted not so much in the classroom but rather in everyday life – by what we do and by the examples we set."
Basso's professional career included work with Loeb, Rhodes & Company, Merrill Lynch, UBS Paine Webber, Fidelity Investments, National Financial Services and Correspondent Services Corporation. From 1969 to 1971, he served with the US Army, including a 13-month tour of duty in Vietnam.
Basso was born and raised in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. He left the state in 1981 to pursue a business offer in California, where he married Mary Healy and started a family. Mary attended the ceremony with the couple's sons: John, who is with the FBI, and Robert, who works in finance.
Some of Basso's Seton Hall classmates and lifelong friends attended the ceremony: Raymond De Carlo '67, Peter Riccardo '67, John Bland '66 and Robert Cianciulli, a 1967 graduate of Glassboro State. In remarks, Basso said they "have been as close as any set of real brothers could possibly be for almost 55 years." Fellow Phi Kap and Seton Hall President's Advisory Group member Nicholas R. Scalera '63 also joined Basso's family and friends at the ceremony.
As a student at Seton Hall, Basso was elected to the Student Council for three years and hosted a business talk-show for WSOU-FM. He then ran for Student Council President and lost – a defeat he described as "an ironic twist of life that really set the stage for what was to become my future! Two invaluable life lessons: Sometimes a loss can be a huge win; and service can actually have multiple meanings."
After the loss, Basso was appointed as Seton Hall's student representative to the United Nations. The program included students from colleges around the world. Basso said the position "provided insights into a global environment I could never have expected. And little did I know it would be a precursor to my life's work in New York City."
Basso has been a trustee of several California academic institutions, including St. Raphael School in San Rafael and Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield.
In 2000, Bob and Mary created the Basso/Healy Foundation, a nonprofit that helps youth-based education and social service agencies provide scholarships to students in need. In 2010, they created the Basso-Healy Endowed Scholarship to help Marin Catholic High School students attend Seton Hall University.
Upon retiring in 2007, Basso founded Best Partners, an independent financial services consulting company, and was a director of Poniard Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded firm. Basso remains a loyal Setonian, ardent Phi Kap, financial icon, devoted husband and father, genuine humanitarian and humble servant leader.
Robert Basso exemplifies What Great Minds Can Do. To read more about what great minds can do at Seton Hall, visit www.shu.edu/100K.