CSI President Dr. Tomás Morales (fourth from right) poses with some of the student attendees at the Celestial Ball.

The Second Annual CSI Celestial Ball, held at the Richmond County Country Club on December 4, was another huge success, raising over $600,000 for student scholarships and support.

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The event was attended by an enthusiastic group of over 220 people, including community leaders and business people, honorees and their family members and friends, and members of the CSI community, including CSI students. All attendees had the opportunity to celebrate and support the impact that a CSI education can make in the lives of our students, preparing them for success in an increasingly competitive job market, but also giving them the tools that they need to make the world a better place.

CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales presented the President’s Medal, with the assistance of Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. William Fritz, to the Ball honorees who included Salvatore Cassano, Fire Commissioner of the City of New York; Dolores N. Morris, former Vice President of HBO Family; and Dr. Fred Naider, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the College of Staten Island and a member of the Doctoral Faculty at The City University of New York.

During the program Joe Ricciutti ’94, Celestial Ball co-chair and President of the Staten Island Yankees, recognized the generosity of some of the major contributors to the College, including The Brooklyn Home For Aged Men, Con Edison, Northfield Bank Foundation, the Staten Island Foundation, National Grid, the Verizon Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, the Institute for Mexicans Abroad Scholarship, the Switzer Foundation, the Petrie Foundation, and Edgar and Lillian Rios.

Ten CSI students who have benefited from CSI scholarships were also in attendance to underscore the importance of these funds for so many who would not be able to get their educations without this crucial assistance. One such student, Megan Ernst, a freshman Business major, and a recipient of the CSI Foundation and John & Filomena Merlino scholarships, addressed the attendees, as did Student Government President Jolanta Smulski. 

The Celestial Ball was chaired by three volunteers, Dr. Christine Cea ’88, President of the Friends of CSI and Scientist at the Institute for Basic Research; Donna Fauci ’96, ’03, Member of the Board of Directors of the CSI Alumni Association, and Admissions Counselor and Program Coordinator with CSI’s Office of Recruitment and Admissions; and Joseph Ricciutti.

Last year’s Celestial Ball honorees, Dr. Gordon and Lorraine Di Paolo, Zane Tankel, and Robert Scamardella, served as Honorary Ball Committee members for this year’s Ball.