Manhattan College To Award Charles Gargano ’79 With Honorary Degree

Charles A. Gargano ’79, former chairman and commissioner of Empire State Development and vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science at Manhattan College’s Fall Honors Convocation.

Charles A. Gargano ’79, former chairman and commissioner of Empire State Development and vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science at Manhattan College’s Fall Honors Convocation on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. in the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers.

Charles A. GarganoDuring the ceremony, close to 130 seniors will be recognized for their academic excellence and inducted into Epsilon Sigma Pi, the oldest college-wide honor society. Induction into Epsilon Sigma Pi is considered the highest scholastic honor that can be earned by a Manhattan College student.

Gargano, a New York native, earned a Master of Science in civil engineering from Manhattan College, was a member of the board of trustees and established the Ambassador Charles A. Gargano ’79 Endowed Chair in Global Economics honor in 2009. In addition, he received both his Bachelor of Science in engineering and Master of Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also holds professional engineering licenses in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oklahoma and Vermont, and has four honorary doctorate degrees.

President Ronald Reagan named Ambassador Gargano deputy administrator of the Federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration in 1981, which began his career in public service. Thus in 1988, he was appointed ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago by President Reagan, and then re-appointed in 1989 by President Bush, where he served until 1991.

Gargano’s distinguished public service followed a successful career as an engineer and principal at J.D. Posillico Engineering and Construction, which was a company he helped build into one of Long Island’s largest heavy construction firms.

Most recently, Gargano’s vital work at Empire State Development resulted in important capital investments for New York State, including the revitalization of Times Square and the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Station. He also directed Governor Pataki’s privatization initiative that made New York the first state in the nation to privatize a commercial airport: Stewart International in the Hudson Valley.

Prior to leaving the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2007, Gargano was the governor’s key aide in carrying out interstate shipping and transportation policies. In fact, he aided in the $9 billion redevelopment investment project at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Gargano also served as president and chairman of the Columbus Citizens Foundation from 1998-2001, a New York City-based philanthropic organization dedicated to the history and culture of Italian Americans and sponsor of the Columbus Day Parade.

Media interested in covering Fall Honors, please contact Liz Connolly, assistant director of communications, by e-mail at public_relations@manhattan.edu.