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Veritas Award 1998

Honorary Veritas Award for Excellence in Music
Carmela Bucceri Altamura ‘61

It is not by accident that soprano, Carmela Altamura, a postwar immigrant from Sicily, who was separated from her family at the age of eight, feels drawn to assist immigrant communities find new opportunities through education and the arts.

A recipient of a Metropolitan Opera Guild scholarship, Carmela studied at the Giuseppe Conservatory in Milan.  Her career began in Milan’s Teatro dei Filodrammatici and has continued in the world’s major concert halls, including Avery Fisher, ALice Tully, and Carnegie Hall.  Invited by the United Nations and sponsored by the Italian Consulates, she is sought after worldwide as a soloist and has appeared in concerts throughout the United States, Middle East and Europe.  Carmela is fluent in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Carmela is listed in Who’s Who in American Women, Who’s Who in the National Italian American Foundation, Who’s Who in Entertainment and Who’s Who in the world.

In 1972, Carmela and her husband, Leonard, opened the Altamura School for the Fine and Performing Arts to assist children of underprivileged and expatriate families in Hudson County, New Jersey.  The subsequent 12 years of service in arts education earned her the Jersey Journal Women of Achievement Award. As for the quality of Carmela’s teaching, Metropolitan Opera meno Mignon Dunn wrote, “I was especially impressed by the way she addressed each student’s needs… she is simply a brilliant teacher.”

In 1988, she and Leonard founded Inter-Cities Performing Arts Inc, a New Jersey-based not-for-profit organization, for the purpose of improving ethnic, social, and professional relations through the arts.  Under aegis, the Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition, USA was formed. Winners of the competition have been awarded contracts in the world’s major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera,New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Vienna Staatsoper and Teatro alla Scala.

In the 1990s, the Altamuras commissioned composers to write new works whose themes escrited on peace.  One orchestral composition received its world premiere at Carnegie Hall’s centennial celebration. By collaborating with universities, conservatories and festivals throughout Europe, Carmela helped to expand their services, outreach, reputation and influence by lending her staff and experism.

In May, 2000, the Altamuras Center for Arts and Cultures in upstate New York opened its doors.  The Summer Institute “Encounters with the Masters” program there offers professional training to singers on the threshold of major careers, attracting performers from around the world as well as an internationally-renowned faculty.  At their New York performing arts center and through collaborations with universities and organizations, they continue to provides venues for dancers, actors and visual artists to display their talents alongside those of musicians. Through a current weekly cable television show, Carmela Altamura celebrates Italian American culture in the Catskill region.


Excellence in Community Outreach
Fredricka Galuppo Mabon ‘61

At Caldwell College, Fredricka (Ricky) Galuppo Mabon was inducted in the National English Honors Society, Phi Delta Epsilon, and Sigma Delta Tau.  She earned an MSW from Fordham University and received her New York State certification one year later. She continued her social work education by attending Harvard Admissions Institute, Fordham University School of Social Service, National University of New Mexico and Vassar College Russian Studies Institute

Ricky, a certified Psychiatric Social Worker and educator, is currently Director of the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Senior Center at St. Peter’s Church in New York City.  She designed and implemented this program in 2001 in collaboration with Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, the New York City Department for Aging, United Neighbors of East Midtown Manhattan (UNEM) and St. Peter’s Church.

Ricky has a wide and varied background working with disadvantaged students, first generation immigrants and ethnic groups.  Her career experiences include positions as a psychiatric social worker at Catholic Charities of New York and New Jersey, several New York hospitals.

Ricky views her position as a principal of St. Hilda’s New York City, as one of her finest successes.  As head of the Upper School, she organized career educational conferences with the Office of the Governor for prevention of high school dropouts.

Ricky has experience as a field instructor for Fordham University School of Social Service, the Shirley M. Ehrenkranz School of Social Work and NYU’s Graduate School of Nursing.  In 1986, Ricky was awarded the FIERIA Award for Outstanding Italian-American Women for scholarship and mentor programs she developed in conjunction with The National Italian American Foundation.

Within her community, Ricky served on the educational professional development committee with the Chinatown Historical Society, African-American Women, The National Association for Hispanic Arts, The National Italian-American Women’s Organization, The New York State Council for the Arts, The Indian Museum and the Cultural Connection to Marymount College.  Additional volunteer endeavors include: the Literacy Volunteers of New York, U.S.O of New York (Junior Committee), Visiting Nurses of New York, A.A.U.W, New York City Parents in Action, Yorkville Community Council, Women’s Education Committee (Office of the Governor), and the Office of College Counseling for Community Children.

As Director of Volunteers with the WEME Mainstream Nutrition and Health Center in New York City, Ricky recruited helping hands to deliver approximately 500 meals each day to seniors, to bring friendly visitors to isolated older adults in the Upper West Side, and to provide social services to the elderly.

Ricky currently resides in Manhattan with her husband, Charles and children, Donovan and Francesca.


Excellence in Excellence in Computer Systems Engineering
Carol Ann Occhiogrosso Hutchinson ‘67

Principal Systems Engineer, Carol Occhiogrosso Hutchinson, has over 35 years experience in the varied fields of computer system engineering.  A Silver Spring, Maryland resident, Carol’s expertise includes information systems design and development, standards and process design, project management, requirements analysis, software configuration management, and actual coding.  She is applying to be recognized as a certified system engineer by the International Council of Systems Engineering (INCOSE), a worldwide professional engineering society, and now serves as the President of the INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter of Maryland.

Carol graduated from Caldwell College with a BA in mathematics, and then completed an MS in Mathematics/Computer Science at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. Since 1993 she worked for an engineering services firm, TASC (recently bought by the Northrop-Grumman), as a principal system engineer where she established system engineering processes, defined technical requirements, designed and deployed computer systems, and documented the engineering accomplishments of several government agencies.  Her former positions included leadership roles at the Vitro Corporation, Andrulis Research Corporation, the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, the MITRE Corporation, and Bell Telephone Laboratories.

In addition to her professional career, Carol was married to the late world-reowned mathematician, Dr. George Hutchinson, with whom she raised three sons, Daniel, John, and Andrew who are now all working as engineers.  She is also the proud grandmother of two grandchildren, Lowell and Charlie.

Always a community-minded person, Carol was active in her church, local civic association, and a PTA member for over 20 years, representing her PTA on county and state levels.  In 1980, she became an advocate for introducing computers to both the grammar and high schools in Montgomery County, Maryland. In 1987, she became an active and later the president of the Montgomery Area Science Fair Association (MASFA), an organization that administers an annual regional science and engineering fair, the winners of which are funded to participate in the annual International Science and Engineering fair.