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Alumnus Establishes Second Endowed Scholarship at Catawba College

June 06, 2005

Category: Academics, Alumni, Students


For Catawba College Alumnus Ron Maccaroni ’67 of Fairfax County, Virginia, establishing a second endowed scholarship at his alma mater is simply a way to say “thanks” for everything the institution has done for him.   Catawba College, Maccaroni contends, well-prepared him for meaningful personal and professional life.

Maccaroni, originally from Waterford, N.J., was recruited by Coach Harvey Stratton to play football and attended Catawba thanks to an athletic scholarship.   He met his first wife, the late Marianne Pearson Maccaroni ’67, who was originally from Weaverton, Md., during his initial week on campus.   Marianne, incidentally, also attended Catawba thanks to an academic scholarship and graduated with a double-major in English and French.   She became the third in her family to attend, following in the footsteps of her father, mother and oldest brother.

Although Ron came to Catawba to play football, his time as a player on the team was short-lived due to a knee injury he suffered during the spring of his freshman year.   He subsequently became the Indians’ trainer.   Ron and Marianne were married at the end of their sophomore year in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on campus by then Campus Pastor Porter Seiwell.   The two moved out of the dorms, obtained part-time jobs, and they continued to earn their degrees.

Ron, whose degree was in accounting, retired at the end of March with over 37 years of federal civilian service.   At the time of his retirement, he was deputy comptroller of the Defense Information Systems Agency, a part of the U.S. Department of Defense.   The first 23 years of his federal government employment were spent in the Government Accountability Office.   In late May, he accepted a position as director of financial consulting for the Milestone Group.

“I feel, and I know Marianne felt, that our experience at Catawba College meant a lot to us personally,” Ron explains.   “Catawba gave us a good foundation for beginning our life and pursuing our professional careers.   What I learned and how I learned did a lot to set me on a successful professional path. A liberal arts education rounds out a person.   And attending a small college gives students opportunities to get to know their fellow students and their professors, making them feel part of the college community.”

Ron recalls the lessons of Professor Millard Wilson, the late chair of Catawba’s Business Department, and how beneficial the experience of making presentations in Wilson’s class came to be in his work life.     He credits then assistant football coach Ray Oxendine with getting him involved in officiating high school wrestlingEvents during his last two years at Catawba. Instead of that becoming a brief experience while in college, Ron stuck with it after graduation, and officiated wrestling matches for 20 years.   Ron also coached both of his sons in youth league football, baseball and soccer.

The Ronald J. Maccaroni Endowed Scholarship will be given annually to a Catawba College student of good academic standing in the business department.   Ron established his first scholarship at Catawba, the Marianne Pearson Maccaroni Scholarship, in 1996, as a way to memorialize his wife.   Preference for that scholarship goes to a student majoring in English or foreign language who has high academic standards and is a practicing Christian.

Ron said that he and Marianne had many fond memories of their time at Catawba.   “By establishing scholarships,” he says, “I hope that will help others also have many fond memories of their time at Catawba.”

“Catawba is truly thankful that Ron has chosen to establish not one, but two scholarships at the College,” notes Catawba Senior Vice President Tom Childress.   “But we are even more appreciative of his long-time support as a Catawba alumnus.   Since his graduation, he, and Marianne before her death, remained active in the life of the institution, regularly returning to campus for homecoming and otherEvents.   He has supported Catawba’s various campaign efforts, including the recent one for Shuford Stadium.”

Maccaroni is remarried to the former Haritte Winingham.   The couple has four adult children, his sons Michael and Matthew, and Harritte’s daughter Lanier and son Charles, along with four grandchildren.   Friends may contact Ron at rmplushw@aol.com.

Endowed scholarships at Catawba are established with gifts of $10,000 or more.