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D’Youville Community Mourns Passing of Dr. William Mariani

D’Youville Community Mourns Passing of Dr. William Mariani

A Message from Dr. Lorrie Clemo, President, D’Youville College

Buffalo, New York – June 26, 2017 – I am deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Executive Vice President Bill Mariani. Bill died Sunday at Gates Vascular Institute following a brief illness. He was 67.

It is a significant loss for the D’Youville Community and for higher education across the region and state. Bill was an insightful and visionary leader who was highly approachable. During his interim presidency here at D’Youville and throughout my transition, he focused on strengthening and growing the College. He sought out talented people equally eager to tackle the challenges of a dynamic higher education environment.

I will miss him enormously not only for his advice and gentle manner, but also his friendship and support. He was a great colleague. On behalf of the D’Youville College community, we extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Marcia and the Mariani family.

Bill served as president of Erie Community College from 1997 to 2006. He joined us at D’Youville in 2007 as an associate professor of business; in 2009, he was promoted to vice president.

On July 1, 2016, Bill became D’Youville’s interim president, succeeding Sister Denise Roche, GNSH.

At the time of his appointment, Bill said, ““I have so much regard for Sister Denise’s legacy and what she has achieved over her tenure. It is an honor to have been offered the opportunity to help ensure her legacy continues, which embodies the mission and history of this extraordinary learning institution.”

Sister Denise remembers Bill fondly. "Bill was a person with many talents and lengthy experience in higher education and issues facing it. However we all knew Bill as a mentor, a guide, an encourager, and a support in times of trouble or confusion. Anyone who knew Bill realized that his family was always first for him, that he was a faithful and loyal friend, and that he enjoyed life with an exuberance and zest that drew each of us into his enthusiasm. He shared his values and his wonderful humor readily with others and was a man who lifted spirits and made people smile and be better wherever he went. His spirit and positive attitude will be missed by many."

In January, he transitioned from interim president to executive vice president, Administrative Affairs.

As executive vice president, Bill was charged with spearheading the College’s expansion into online learning and other new venture opportunities locally and nationally. A role that suited him well, given his vast network of professional and personal connections throughout the region.

"I am very saddened by the sudden passing of Bill Mariani,” said C.J. Urlaub, chair of D’Youville’s Board of Trustees. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the D’Youville community. Bill stepped in to a difficult role with the retirement of Sister Denise. He was instrumental in advancing many improvements in the short time he was in the interim role. His contributions were essential in supporting and leading the College and he was a stabilizing force for the College. I feel a personal deep sense of loss with his passing, and this is an enormous loss for his family, D’Youville, and our community."

Among his professional affiliations and community service activities: New York State Association of Community College Presidents; Erie County Workforce Investment Board; Western New York Higher Education Consortium; New York State Department of Economic Development Strategic Training; St. Francis High School Board of Trustees; United Way Regional Campaign co-chair (2002); Holiday Valley Ski Patrol; BOCES I Planning Board; Lackawanna Bicentennial Committee, and past president of the Rotary Club of Hamburg.

During a career in academia, Bill served as a professor in our Department of Business and in ECC’s School of Management. He was the founding dean of the Division of Development & Community Services at ECC, presented at numerous conferences, and consulted on a variety of projects.

His private sector experience including time at AM International Consultants, Inc., and Bell & Howell, as well as his own consulting business.

Dr. Mariani earned his EdD at D’Youville, a bachelors’ of Business Administration and Master of Science, Educational Administration and Supervision from St. Bonaventure University. He was a graduate of St. Francis High School of Athol Springs.

He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed his family and friends.

Please remember Bill in your prayers, along with his wife, Marcia, and his children, Dr. Mara Mariani and William Mariani II, Esq., his mother, Elisabeth, and his sister, Deborah (Anthony Palumbo).

May God grant Bill eternal rest.

This morning’s (Monday, June 26) 11:30 AM Mass in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, third floor of the Koessler Administration building, will be celebrated in Bill’s memory. All are welcome.

Arrangements will be announced at a later date.