Loyola celebrates the life of John A. Palmucci, Jr.
John A. Palmucci, Jr., former vice president for business and finance and treasurer at Loyola, passed away suddenly on Sunday, Aug. 23. He had celebrated his 81st birthday earlier this month.
Palmucci, who served at Loyola from 1994 through June 2010, will be remembered for his kindness and warmth, his astute financial insight, and his leadership during a time of tremendous growth for the University. In gratitude for his significant contributions to Loyola, John was designated vice president for finance emeritus and awarded the Cardinal John Henry Newman Medal at Loyola’s 2010 Commencement exercises.
“He was very much a visionary. He really watched the markets so we would be the best-situated for our ratings with the rating agencies,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president. “He understood how green I was when I became president—and the area where I was most green was finances. He took me under his wing, and we would go out to dinner so he could update me and let me know what we needed to do in terms of financing.”
Palmucci’s former colleagues remember how he opened his home to entertain and serve guests his homemade Italian food.
“Whenever I was at his house, it was always a crowd,” Fr. Linnane said.
That love of people and community translated into his work for Loyola, where Palmucci is remembered for his friendly nature and his smile.
“John lived on the sunny side of the mountain at all times,” said Terrence Sawyer, J.D., senior vice president. “In John’s eye, obstacles were small and relatively easy to overcome. He was very much about getting to whatever the prize was. He was a very solution-oriented leader who was always very positive, very optimistic, and just also joyful. He was almost always smiling and laughing.”
When Palmucci traveled with Sawyer to Flintstone, Md., to look at the property that would become the Loyola Retreat Center, Palmucci asked the Presbyterian minister who owned the property to take a walk. In that moment, Sawyer knew Loyola would be making the purchase.
“John was the perfect dealmaker because he was so congenial,” Fr. Linnane said. “He was so kind and so friendly.”
Palmucci was the financial mind behind an unprecedented period of physical growth for Loyola, including the construction of the Sellinger School of Business building, the renovation of Jenkins Hall and the Study, the construction of the Fitness & Aquatic Center, the opening of the Ridley Athletic Center, an extension of the Donnelly Science Center, the expansion and renovation of Loyola/Notre Dame Library, and other projects. Beyond Loyola, he was known nationally for his expertise and leadership.
Palmucci earned a B.S. in Management and an MBA in Finance and Management from Northeastern University. Throughout his career, Palmucci had 45 years of experience serving mission-driven nonprofit institutions, including Merrimack College, Northern Essex Community College. Northeastern University, and Valparaiso University.
Palmucci had leadership roles in a number of professional organizations, including the National Association of College and University Business Officers, Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the Investment Management Institute. He received the EACUBO Distinguished Service Award in 2000 and the NACUBO Distinguished Business Officer Award in 2003.
A virtual service for John Palmucci will take place on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, at 11 a.m. on Zoom. The Zoom information to join the Virtual Service for John Palmucci is:
+1 929 205 6099
Meeting ID: 939 9880 1971
Please visit www.kayspongerpg.com to share a memory or leave condolences to the Palmucci family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Harvey-Himmelman-Palmucci Scholarship Fund at Merrimack College, 315 Turnpike St, No. Andover MA 01845, or to the charity of your choice.