Presidential Medals Honor Bold Leaders
Marywood University recently bestowed its highest honor, the Presidential Medal, on several individuals who have made a significant difference in the lives of others. The Presidential Medal is awarded annually to those who have shown extraordinary commitment to Marywood and who have made meaningful contributions to society on regional, national, and international levels.
The honorees were Robert E. Wright, M.D., Clarks Green; Scranton natives Paul and Sandra Gaudenzi Montrone ’65, who presently reside in Hampton Falls, N.H.; and Pittston native Eugenia Warady Riordan Mulé ’53, who presently resides in Pacific Palisades, California.
Sister Anne Munley, IHM, Marywood University President, acknowledged the accomplishments of the medalists with special videos focused on their life stories and by presenting tribute citations along with the medals during the 2015 Society Dinner, which was held on Friday, October 18, 2013.
“This prestigious medal is an emblem of strong, compassionate leadership, and recipients of the medal are community-minded individuals who combine professional and personal achievements with a deep sense of purpose and dedication to others,” said Sister Anne. “As their dynamic examples attest, we do our best when we act according to God’s call for our lives—whether that particular call to action happens on a local, national, or international scale.”
Dr. Wright graduated from the Temple School of Medicine and completed his residency at Temple, training in internal medicine, then fulfilled a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Washington, Seattle. He returned to Scranton to establish his own practice. For more than four decades, he has treated patients and trained future physicians.
Dr. Wright elevated the standard of care in the region by bringing medical expertise closer to home. He founded the Scranton Temple Residency Program in internal medicine—now the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. Dr. Wright served as President and Designated Institutional Official of the program for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education until his retirement. He continues to serve on the Wright Center’s Board of Directors.
Acting on his dream to see a medical college established in Scranton, he became founding chairman of the Medical Education Development Consortium, then founding chairman and member of the Commonwealth Medical College Board of Trustees. Students started attending the newly created school just five years after Dr. Wright first presented the idea. Four years later, the Commonwealth Medical College graduated its first class. Dr. Wright has served as Interim President and Dean of the College and continues to guide its development as a member of its Board of Trustees.
He and and his wife, Marywood alumna Carole Cook Wright, also have generously supported Marywood University and its students, especially through the Scholarship Fund.
Sandra Gaudenzi Montrone earned her degree in Elementary Education/Business from Marywood and put her degree to work, first as a teacher, then as an active volunteer in her region’s school system and for her church. Mrs. Montrone was the founder and president of Seacoast Hospice, a volunteer organization dedicated to comforting and caring for patients and families facing end-of-life experiences. President Clinton appointed her to the Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, for which she acted as an advisor and liaison to performance groups and performing arts centers throughout the nation.
In addition, Mrs. Montrone was an incorporator of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Today, she is the President of the Penates Foundation, which supports the arts, education, and community service. A dedicated alumna, Mrs. Montrone’s enduring bond with Marywood spans five decades. She helped lead Marywood’s first major capital campaign and has continued to take a leadership role in the University’s ongoing initiatives.
Together, the Montrones have provided substantial support for numerous efforts at Marywood, particularly student opportunities and faith-based initiatives. They have established an endowed scholarship, the Jerome F. Gaudenzi Scholarship, in memory of Mrs. Montrone’s father, and a permanent campus chapel, the Marian Chapel, in memory of Mrs. Montrone’s mother. For decades before those significant commitments, their generosity benefited Marywood’s Campus Ministry Program. The Montrones are presently serving as Honorary Co-Chairs of A Bold Heart: the Centennial Campaign for Marywood University, and have made a transformational gift to the Centennial Campaign.
Eugenia Warady Riordan Mulé earned her degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Marywood. She filled a hospital dietetic internship and put her degree to work as a professional dietitian at that hospital. She married, became a full-time mother to her family of five children, and undertook what would become a lifelong involvement with issues and organizations that sought to benefit and enrich lives in her region and beyond.
Mrs. Mulé is actively involved in a considerable number of humanitarian, religious, and charitable causes and organizations. She has focused her service and attention primarily on causes that benefit children and the elderly. She has supported research and sought to alleviate suffering through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and she served on the boards of M.S. International and the City of Hope. For her lifetime of support for Catholic charities and numerous others, she was honored with the Veritas et Caritas Award from Resurrection Catholic Missions.
She is also active on Marywood’s behalf, volunteering, attending, and hosting University events in California and serving on her class’s 50th Anniversary Committee. In loving memory of her parents and her late sister, Marywood alumna, Andrea Warady Volpicelli ’50, she endowed the Reverend Michael B. and Elizabeth Warady Family Scholarship, which continues to provide assistance for new generations of students pursuing degrees in health-related fields.
Mrs. Mulé has been a leadership benefactor in the construction of the Insalaco Center for Studio Arts and, most recently, contributed generously to a Bold Heart Centennial Campaign priority, construction of Marywood University’s Learning Commons.
Atty. Marion Munley, Board Chair, and Sister Anne Munley, IHM, President, present Dr. Robert E. Wright with the Presidential Medal.
Sister Anne presents the Montrones with the Presidential Medal and citation.
Eugenia Warady Riordan Mulé, accompanied by her family, is presented with the Presidential Medal by Sister Anne.