“Mary Ann Quaranta (pictured above) was the most elegant person I ever met,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham.
Photo by Chris Taggart

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the slideshow playing at the Oct. 1 memorial celebration for MaryAnn Quaranta, D.S.W., (GSS ’50), former dean of the Graduate School of Social Service, said plenty.

There were countless photos with Quaranta and her family, especially her grandchildren, whom she was said to have treasured.

There were a plethora of photos with Quaranta and her colleagues.

Then there were professorial photos featuring a very regal Quaranta at conferences and University events, and even a few photos with Hillary Clinton.

Quaranta, who died on Dec. 16, 2009, was remembered at a standing-room-only memorial celebration on the Lincoln Center campus. The event included musical tributes and moving speeches from about 18 friends, colleagues and family members.

“Mary Ann Quaranta was the most elegant person I ever met,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “Now I know you’re going to think I’m being very superficial and only referring to her unerring sense of fashion. But I’m not. Mary Ann Quaranta was the most elegant person in different and far deeper senses. She was a most extraordinary mind, always active and symmetrical. She could figure out a program on the way to work.

“She possessed eyes that enabled her to look on the poor and see in them God’s greatest riches,” Father McShane added. “We at Fordham were blessed to have her as colleague, mother superior, visionary dean and friend.”


Gina Vergel is Senior Director of Communications. She oversees the digital news coverage, public relations, and social media for the university. Before joining Fordham in 2007, Gina worked as a reporter for the Home News Tribune, and The Ridgewood News, where she won Society of Professional Journalist (New Jersey chapter) awards for breaking news and feature writing, respectively. She can be reached at [email protected] or (646) 579-9957.