Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge’s Fontbonne Hall Academy celebrates 80th anniversary

April 25, 2018 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Fox News Channel anchor Maria Bartiromo was the gala’s keynote speaker. Eagle photos by Arthur De Gaeta
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Fontbonne Hall Academy has had a great year. Well, make that 80 great years of turning out promising high school graduates who have gone on to top colleges across the country. Just this past year graduating basketball star Katie Marquardt scored her 1,000th career point and earned a full four-year scholarship to Molloy College.

Marquardt is just one of Fontbonne’s many success stories, and to celebrate the academy’s 80th anniversary Maria Bartiromo, one of Fontbonne’s most distinguished alumni, was the keynote speaker at their gala on Saturday, April 21 at El Caribe Country Club. Entertainment was provided by acclaimed tenor Daniel Rodriguez and Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello offered the blessing.

The theme of the evening was “Diamonds and Pearls,” and it brought out a number of elected officials and community leaders. Principal Mary Ann Spicijaric thanked the guests for supporting the school during this milestone year.

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“After 80 years, our school remains dedicated to the mission of our founders, The Sisters of St. Joseph, to empower young women to become leaders through education,” Spicijaric said.

Brooklyn-born Bartiromo is a popular TV journalist who anchors “Mornings with Maria” on the Fox Business Network and “Sunday Morning Futures,” the most-watched Sunday morning program on Fox News. After graduating from Fontbonne, Bartiromo attended New York University, where she majored in journalism and economics.

In November 2016, Bartiromo was at Fontbonne to cut the ribbon for the Maria Bartiromo Broadcast Journalism Studio.

“It truly warms my heart to see so many people that I love so much and that I’ve known for 30-plus years,” Bartiromo said.

“One of the great things about Fontbonne, aside from the knowledge and the studying and the experiences, are the relationships that we form during these very important and impactful years of high school — relationships with teachers, relationships with friends, and with other students.”

This year’s honorees are retired physicist and mathematician Rosemary Cashman; Credit Suisse LLC Director Deborah Langiulli; Dr. Francis DeVito and his wife Nina DeVito; Fontbonne Hall Academy Social Studies Chairwoman Breeda Connolly; and Investors Bank Senior Vice President and Regional Manager Ana Oliveira.

From left: Gregory T. Cerchione, Ana Oliveira and Biagio Madaio.

“We are so grateful for all who showed their support for Fontbonne at the gala,” Maria Capetanakis-Grigos, chair of the board of trustees at Fontbonne and an associate professor at New York University, told the Brooklyn Eagle.   

“For decades, Fontbonne has been instrumental in preparing young women for the future by offering stellar academics while instilling core values. As a Fontbonne alumnus, I am honored to be of service to the school and to give back to the institution that played such an important role in my career and personal life.”

State Sen. Marty Golden recognized the honorees and praised Fontbonne for celebrating 80 successful years of education in Bay Ridge. “This event truly highlighted the important role that Fontbonne Hall has played in the lives of so many families and throughout our community,” he said.

“The academy has graduated so many of our community’s best over the years, and I know that the subsequent graduating classes will produce the leaders of our community, city, state and nation in the future.”

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