Francis Medal Awarded to SBU Administrator, Olean Native

Dan Riley Features

Mary Piccioli, life-long resident of the Olean area, whose family had many friends and deep relationships with friars over the years, was awarded the Francis Medal on Oct. 13.

Mary has always shown an innate understanding and practice of the Franciscan heritage. Her unassuming manner would have you believe at times that she has simply come upon an insight, but rather she takes great time and deep consideration for the things and responsibilities that are in her care. Mary, a 1981 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, carries her faith deep within her and lifts it out daily in an open fashion in the busy “marketplace” of higher education.

Following the recommendation of one of our trustees, Mary took on the responsibilities of establishing a manner and practice of caring for the Mountain’s finances and business in a Franciscan manner. She has established a way of doing this that is both stable for our wellbeing and respectful of our benefactors’ intentions. Further, Mary, who is dean of enrollment at SBU, shows us a servant model of management, always alert to concerns for justice for and fairness towards others.

Mary spent long hours and personal time helping to establish her role as a trustee in our early days of Mt. Irenaeus as we moved toward the formalization of our Board of Trustees. She, more recently, took on the responsibilities of an “operating officer,” transitioning from trustee responsibilities to the more day-to-day and annual concerns.

In all of these necessary and mundane matters, Mary has exemplified, with humor and cheerfulness, a constancy that has helped us all become better stewards of our resources for this provincial ministry. She keeps us aware of our needs and shows us ways of meeting these in a clear, loving and Franciscan manner, always optimistic, while also being very practical.

Moving through various responsibilities and positions within St. Bonaventure University, she has helped to bridge both communities and effectively relate in both spheres of responsibility. She has shown us the zeal and forward-thinking of a lay person committed to her faith and Franciscan practices in the context of business conjoined with spirituality and personal spirit.

Over the years, she has gained the high respect and esteem of people a good deal older and longer in the practices of business and Church leadership. She remains a model of servant leadership and the willingness to give oneself in the constant care and regular service of others.