NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Close to 150 guests — including family, friends and colleagues of Mr. DeFeo as well as five current students who are DeFeo Scholars — were in attendance at the benefit held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, Conn.
“Your gifts ensure our students have the opportunity to achieve their academic aspirations and have the best college experience possible,” Iona President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., told those at the event. “Because of you, DeFeo Scholars will be able to create life-long relationships, broaden their interests and prepare for a successful future.”
“We have a responsibility to help each student reach their potential — education is the accelerator required,” said Mr. DeFeo. “The DeFeo Family Endowed Scholarship at Iona has already made a difference and with our success tonight we can now do so much more. If you can help someone, do it!”
“I cannot express my gratitude for you and your family,” said Iona sophomore Madison Kirch. “Not only am I thankful for the scholarship, but also the inspiration. Your charisma as well as your management style has truly moved me.
“Without your contribution of this scholarship, it wouldn’t be financially possible for me to attend Iona,” said senior Merridith Delinois. “I will now be graduating with honors, summa cum laude — I thank you a thousand times over.”
About Ronald M. DeFeo: Mr. DeFeo is now president and CEO, Kennametal Inc., where he was a 14-year member of the board. Kennametal Inc. is a global industrial technology leader delivering productivity to customers through materials science, tooling and wear-resistant solutions. Mr. DeFeo was the chairman of the board of Terex Corporation, based in Westport, Conn., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of construction equipment, through December 31, 2015. Mr. DeFeo was with Terex for 23 years and served as chief executive officer, president and chief operating officer. He joined the organization in 1992 as president of the Heavy Equipment Group. During his tenure with Terex, the company grew from a less than $400 million operation to a global player that recorded net sales of $7.3 billion in 2014. Before joining Terex, Mr. DeFeo was a senior vice president of J.I. Case Company, the former Tenneco farm and construction equipment division, and was a managing director of Case Construction Equipment throughout Europe. While at J.I. Case, Mr. DeFeo was also a vice president of North American Construction Equipment Sales and general manager of Retail Operations. Mr. DeFeo is a member of the board of trustees of Iona College and Bridgeport Hospital Foundation. A 1974 graduate of Iona College, Mr. DeFeo holds a B.A. in economics and philosophy and received an honorary degree from Iona in 2013.