LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — Siena College’s scholar in residence, Peter Fiore, OFM, an English teacher and administrator for 45 years, and a friar for 63 years, now has an endowment named for him.
The Fr. Peter Fiore, OFM, Excellence in English Endowment was established this summer by alumnus Bill McGoldrick, class of 1968, and his wife, Betsi. The McGoldricks established the endowment in celebration of Peter’s outstanding scholarly achievements.
Peter expressed gratitude for the gift. “The McGoldricks invited me to dinner one evening and after dessert presented the document,” he said. “I was stunned, delighted, and I nearly fainted.”
The $30,000 gift provides for a faculty scholarship, something close to Peter’s heart, and will continue in perpetuity to assist faculty and students of the department.
Funds will provide opportunities for student-faculty joint study projects and for faculty to pursue their disciplines and to attend professional conferences.
“As a professor, Fr. Peter required me to think at a higher level than I ever thought I could,” said McGoldrick. “As a friend for almost 50 years, I have admired him as a person, a priest, and a teacher. Betsi and I want to honor him and his contributions by encouraging Siena faculty to become the very best they can be and to continue his concern for student development.”
Awards will be made at the discretion of the dean of the School of Liberal Arts, an office that Peter held for many years at the college, as part of a full and rich ministry.
“Aside from six years as communications director for the Province and three years in full-time ministry for the Albany Diocese, I’d say I have been in teaching and administration at Siena for about 45 years,” said Peter. “I’ve been a scholar in residence now roughly four years.”
Peter began his studies at Siena on the G.I. Bill in 1945 after returning home from the U.S. Army. “It was the greatest decision I ever made. I was introduced to the friars for four years and it changed the whole direction of my life.”
He completed his doctoral studies at London University, England; headed the English department for 18 years; was dean of the School of Liberal Arts for seven years; and published six books, most recently, The Gospels Are Now.
Peter is grateful to have worked on the faculty with what he calls “great literary giants of the Province.” He fondly recalls his teachers, especially Matthew Conlin, OFM, Juniper Carol, OFM, Maurus Fitzgerald, OFM, Valentine Long, OFM, Cornelius Madden, OFM, and Alcuin Shields, OFM.
Peter said he would like the endowment to be used for research, among other things. “I’d like to see more faculty-student joint research on literary issues and faculty acknowledging the student in their publications, more reading of the wealth of material of the Catholic Literary Movement, and far more emphasis at Siena on Dante, Shakespeare, and the Great Books series.”
Peter is the latest friar to have a named endowment. Others include the late Matthew Conlin, OFM, Kenneth Paulli, OFM, and Kevin Tortorelli, OFM, for whom Siena created scholarships in 2010 and 2008 respectively.
— Wendy Healy, a freelance writer based in Connecticut, is a frequent contributor to HNP Today.