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Ben and Serafina Volpe Class of 1992 Scholarship Endowment

Leonard Riggio, the founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble, Inc., established the Ben and Serafina Volpe Class of 1992 Scholarship in memory of Ben and Serafina Volpe, the mother and father of Dr. Angelo Volpe, Tennessee Tech University President from 1987 to 2000.

Dr. Angelo Volpe’s tenure at Tech saw much success for both the school’s academic and athletic programs. Volpe helped the university’s endowment burgeon from one million to 27 million dollars. After his presidency, Volpe chaired on several boards including the NCAA Athletic Certification Committee which, during, his time as chair, certified schools such as Appalachian State University in North Carolina and James Madison University.

Beginning with a single college bookstore in 1965, Leonard Riggio built one of the largest enterprises in the history of American retain. He is widely known as a visionary in the bookselling industry, and as a brilliant marketer and entrepreneur. Having realized his goal of making books and the world of ideas available to the general public, he continues to bring innovation and change to the marketplace in which he has spent his entire career.

Mr. Riggio devotes himself to many philanthropic initiatives, having served on nearly two dozen not-for-profit boards. He has received numerous awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Frederick Douglas Medallion. In November 2002, he received the Americanism Award from the Anti-Defamation League, its highest honor. The award cited his work “to celebrate diversity and make the dream of freedom and equality a reality for so many Americans.” Mr. Riggio is the recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from Baruch College of the City University of New York and Bentley College. He has been included into the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs at Babson College. He also lectures regularly on college campuses, has delivered several commencement addresses, and has been the keynote speaker to numerous educational and business groups across the country. (From, Jan. 7, 2005)
Scholarships associated with Ben and Serafina Volpe Class of 1992 Scholarship Endowment
  • Ben and Serafina Volpe Class of 1992 Endowed Scholarship