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Remembering the name, Dr. Angelo Volpe

Angelo VolpeHe always remembered your name. Whether you knew Dr. Angelo Volpe for years or minutes, he remembered you. Now it is time for us to collectively remember the man who led Tennessee Tech University as its seventh president, serving from 1987 to 2000. 

In our mind’s eye, the native of New York City is wearing a Yankees baseball cap. He wore academic regalia just as easily. Dr. Volpe received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Brooklyn College in 1959. He received his master’s in 1962 and his doctorate in 1966 in organic and polymer chemistry from the University of Maryland. 

He was nationally known as an outstanding chemist, but on campus, he was best known for his energy, engagement and leadership. He served as a morale booster, a fundraiser, and friend to the students, faculty, and staff. 

Under Dr. Volpe, Tech saw its endowment grow from $1 million to $27 million, drew acclaim for its academic and athletic programs, and developed a sense of community. During his tenure, the campus Fitness Center, Hyder-Burks Agricultural Pavilion and library, named for Dr. Volpe and his wife Jennette, were built.

Dr. Volpe also fought to keep the Appalachian Center for Craft open for education, created two chairs of excellence and established the Women’s Center and Leona Lusk Officer Black Cultural Center. 

Volpe’s contribution to outreach efforts helped make possible a virtual embrace of a then-Soviet university through the Citizen Exchange Council as well as continued ties to another sister school, Dohto University in Japan.  

No summary, no matter how lengthy, can capture Dr. Volpe’s contagious enthusiasm and lasting impact.  

To honor him, the campus community and public are invited to his visitation from 4 to 7 p.m. this Thursday in the Volpe Library.  

On Friday, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Cookeville’s St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church at noon. Visitation will be held 10 a.m. until noon.  

Interment will follow in the Cookeville City Cemetery.  

To Jennette, we remember you in prayer and thank you for sharing Dr. Volpe with our campus and community. To Dr. Volpe, we will always remember your name, Angelo. 

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