Alumnus Richard “Rich” Geraffo Jr. ’85 and his wife, Daria, have made a $50,000 commitment to fund scholarships to students in the William Paterson’s Cotsakos College of Business who are in jeopardy of stopping out of college due to financial reasons.
Geraffo, who is a vice president for Amazon Web Services, announced the gift during the William Paterson University Foundation’s 31st Annual Legacy Award Gala on April 27, 2022, where he was honored as the 2022 Distinguished Alumnus.
The scholarships will be specifically focused on juniors and seniors who are struggling to remain enrolled at WP due to financial issues. It is Geraffo’s hope that his scholarship support will help such students stay the course ,so they are able to graduate with the bachelor’s degree they set out to and deserve to attain.
“William Paterson University truly changed my life and gave me the foundation upon which I was able to build professional and personal success in my dream technology career,” says Geraffo, a first-generation college student who paid his own way through WP and “found his calling” here.
Originally a criminal justice major with hopes to work for the FBI, Geraffo was inspired to switch his major to accounting, and subsequently landed two internships with IBM just as the PC revolution began. He has spent the past 30 years transforming global business in key executive roles with companies such as Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. He currently leads the North Americas Sales team for Amazon Web Services, charged with helping companies that range from fast-growing startups to large enterprises.
Noting the William Paterson University Foundation’s work to help struggling students persevere and “finish strong,” Geraffo adds, “I want to pay it forward and help others pave their path in life.”
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