Tom and Jenny Monaco present a check to Dean Oblinger.
A February ice storm was no deterrent to family, friends and colleagues who gathered at N.C. State University to celebrate the establishment of an endowment by Dr. Thomas J. Monaco, Head of the Department of Horticultural Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and his wife.
The Thomas J. and Virginia S. Monaco Horticultural Science Graduate Fellowship Endowment for Diversity was created Feb.17 in signing ceremonies held at the McSwain Education Center, JC Raulston Arboretum. College Dean James L. Oblinger presided at the event.
Monaco, who retired from the university May 1, and his wife created the endowment to continue their support and affection for the Department of Horticultural Science and the university. The endowment will be used to provide fellowship awards for graduate students enrolled in the Department of Horticultural Science. The award is intended to attract under represented groups, such as women and minorities, to the graduate programs in the department. The award will be in the form of a supplement to the basic graduate assistantship awarded to an entering graduate student (or students).
“Dr. Monaco has always provided unselfish support of the graduate education program in our department. The fellowship established by the Monacos will provide permanent support of the graduate program in Horticultural Science,” said Dr. David Monks, Extension Specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science. “It is through their unselfishness efforts that the graduate program in our department will benefit forever.”
Monaco, who holds a Ph.D. degree from N.C. State in Crop Science/Weed Science, began his career in the department in 1967, becoming Associate Professor in 1973 and Full Professor in 1977. During his career, he has served as adviser or co-adviser to 15 master’s degree students and 15 Ph.D. students, and he has served on more than 30 graduate advisory committees. In 1988, he was appointed the 11th head of the Horticultural Science Department. Virginia Monaco is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and chief CRNA at Critical Health Systems in Raleigh. They have three sons, all of whom have bachelor’s degrees from N.C. State University: Dr. Thomas J. Monaco Jr., B.S. in Biochemistry; Dr. Joseph W. Monaco, B.S. in Electrical Engineering; and Michael A. Monaco, B.S. in Computer Science. Additionally, all three of the Monacos’ daughters-in-law have N.C. State B.S. degrees.
“N.C. State University has been very good to the Monaco family,” said Monaco at the signing event. “We established this endowment in honor of my career, and the diversity aspect of the award is in honor of my wife's career. This is a joint endeavor and we feel that the endowment in some small way pays back the institution for the educational opportunities afforded the Monaco family.”
Dr. Jon Ort, Associate Dean and Director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in the College, said, “This endowment will live as another example of the generosity that Dr. Monaco and his family have shown our university, our College and the department. We are all truly grateful to the Monaco family for what they have done for N.C. State University.”
-- Terri Leith
Click here for the Monaco Gift Intention Form
(there are two forms, be sure to scroll down to the Gift Intention Form)
Click here for a printable information sheet about the Monacos and their endowment