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Seton Hall University

Alberto Institute Celebrates Distinguished Alumnus Frank Cannata '55, Italian Studies Student Scholars and Benefactors  

Frank Cannatasm 320 picThe 2018 Italian Studies Scholarship Awards Ceremony and presentation of the Monsignor Joseph Granato Italian Culture Award to distinguished alumnus Frank G. Cannata '55 will be bestowed by The Charles and Joan Alberto Italian Studies Institute at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, in Bethany Hall. This event is free and open to the public and begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m.

Outstanding Italian Studies student scholars and their benefactors will be honored during the evening. Frank Cannata will deliver a keynote address, "A Message of Hope," at the annual event. Welcoming remarks will be presented by Dr. Mary Meehan, interim president. Joseph Guasconi will serve as moderator.

"Frank has been one of Seton Hall's most faithful alumni over more than five decades. He has a great eye for talent, and he is always on the look-out for ways to help his alma mater. He has been a terrific fundraiser, generating support from multiple sources for both Italian Studies and the Stillman School of Business, and it is always a pleasure to listen to his latest advice on marketplace synergies, student engagement and globalization," explained Professor William Connell, Joseph M. and Geraldine C. La Motta Chair of Italian Studies.

Connell added, "Frank was the one who brought the idea of an endowed Italian Studies Chair to the University and made that campaign's first donation. The Chair, now called the La Motta Chair in Italian Studies, has been in full operation since 1998, during which time the Italian Studies endowment has quintupled and achieved spectacular international recognition. Twenty years later it is now time to celebrate the alumnus who put it all in motion."

The Monsignor Joseph Granato Italian Culture Medal was established in 1999 by the Joseph M. and Geraldine C. La Motta Chair in Italian Studies as a way for Seton Hall University to honor individuals who have distinguished themselves in the preservation and promotion of Italian culture. The first recipient, after whom this medal is named, was Monsignor Joseph Granato '51, a Seton Hall alumnus, for his untiring work over more than 50 years at St. Lucy's Roman Catholic Church in Newark. St. Lucy's is a parish that was established by Italian immigrants at the end of the nineteenth century. Thanks largely to Monsignor Granato's efforts the church has been able to preserve its vibrant character through more than half a century of dramatic change and renewal.

In addition to Monsignor Granato, previous recipients include Sebastian de Grazia, Ph.D., Sr. Margherita Marchione, Ph.D., Nazario Paragano Sr., Frank Farinella '49, Hon. Paolo Toschi, Howard McGinn, Ph.D., Hon. Andrea Barbaria, William Connell, Ph.D., and Salvatore Valente.

"It is with deep gratitude that I accept the Monsignor Joseph Granato Italian Culture Medal. It is a tremendous milestone for both my family and me and I am overwhelmed to be singled out for this honor. I am always mindful of the fact nobody does anything worthwhile alone so I must acknowledge my many associates of UNICO National and the faculty and leadership of Seton Hall University who share with me a lifetime commitment to preserve and promote Italian language, history, and culture. What makes this honor even more significant is that my desire to serve my community was fostered at Seton Hall University and for that, I am eternally grateful," said Cannata.

Cannata shared that there were many significant benefactors, alumni and friends of the University with whom he shares the credit for making this all possible, including the incredible generosity of Joseph La Motta '54, Charles Alberto '55, and Salvatore Valente, who join him in support of preserving and promoting Italian language, history and culture and the personification of "servant leadership" in developing the world-class initiative at the University. Cannata, past president of UNICO, the national Italian-American service organization, said he also wanted to honor Martin Picillo, Joseph Coccia and the officers and members of UNICO National for their amazing efforts.

A lifelong supporter of Seton Hall, Cannata is widely recognized as one of the most influential opinion leaders in the business technology, managed services, and imaging industry. Following his graduation from Seton Hall in 1955, and four years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps as a commissioned officer, he went on to hold senior level marketing positions in the industry prior to making the entrepreneurial leap and establishing Marketing Research Consultants Inc. to provide business intelligence and strategy advice to foreign manufacturers eager to enter the U.S. marketplace.

With the introduction of The Cannata Report in 1982, he filled a void in the burgeoning industry by providing news analysis, critical business information, and authoritative commentary. More than 30 years later, this go-to trusted resource has expanded its digital presence and worldwide readership, as an essential resource.

For additional information and reservations to the event reception, please contact Barbara Ritchie at

Categories: Alumni , Arts and Culture

For more information, please contact:

  • Barbara Ritchie
  • (973) 275-2967
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