John Nazarian Alumnus/Alumna of the Year Award
Dr. V. Michael Ferdinandi ’71 and Lucille Ferdinandi ’70, M.Ed. ‘75
Dr. V. Michael Ferdinandi and his wife, Lucille share a deep commitment to Rhode Island College. In 2021 they donated a $1.2 million planned gift to establish the V. Michael and Lucille Ferdinandi Endowed Scholarship. This is the second largest gift in the college’s history. It will support first-time, full-time freshmen who have high academic standing and financial need. The couple shared that their gift was made possible because of the opportunities they received at Rhode Island College that prepared them for the future. The couple met at Rhode Island College, where Michael was majoring in industrial arts and Lucille in elementary education. They both shared a passion for education and understood that access to opportunity can make a difference in people’s lives. Lucille taught in Johnston public schools for 20 years, earned her master’s in counseling at RIC and worked as a counselor at CCRI. Michael, too, came back to earn his master’s degree at RIC and his doctorate at Boston University. His career led him from the classroom to three of the country’s leading Fortune 20 companies: PepsiCo, the Ford Motor Company and CVS Caremark. He retired as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for CVS in 2012. Ever the educator, Michael returned to the classroom as an Executive in Residence at Palm Beach Atlantic University for seven years, where he helped prepare students for successful careers. The Ferdinandi’s life and legacy will impact the lives of Rhode Island College students for years to come.