Ask Vinnie Giordano ’66, ’73M who had the biggest influence on him as a student and without hesitating he’ll say, “Manny Senerchia. Great teacher; great coach—he really inspired me.”
Senerchia, a former major leaguer who taught education classes and managed the Hawks baseball team in the 1960s, put Giordano in the starting lineup on opening day in 1964—and that’s where the Brooklyn, New York, native remained every game for the next three seasons. In his senior year, Giordano was named team captain. Five years later he was hired as assistant coach, a position he held until 1981.
It’s been decades since Giordano has worn a Hawks uniform, but he says the friendships he made through Monmouth baseball remain strong. Pictures of former teammates hang in his Lincroft, New Jersey, home, and he speaks of his former players’ children like his own grandkids. “We’re a family,” says Giordano. “But if it wasn’t for Manny, I wouldn’t have even had the chance to play ball at Monmouth.”
Equally as important as the adopted family the university gave him is the education he received there, says Giordano. Growing up in modest circumstances, the high school honors student assumed a career in law enforcement or the armed forces awaited him. “My cousins were cops, and my dad wanted me to join the Navy. But then I got accepted into Monmouth.” Now able to pursue the education degree he coveted, he went on to teach elementary school for 31 years and serve as principal for another 10. Though retired, he still speaks with an educator’s conviction about the need for more and better-qualified teachers, particularly in urban schools. “Teachers who don’t come from urban settings don’t understand the extra challenges those students face,” he says.
Giordano says he’s always been the type of person who believes in giving back: to his church, to veterans groups, to cancer research, and to the university that gave him so much. He’s leaving his legacy at Monmouth through his estate plan. He created two bequests: One will provide scholarships for education majors, with preference given to students from Brooklyn, while the other will support the baseball program.
“None of the good things that happened in my life would have happened without Monmouth University-period,” says Giordano. “That’s why I give.”
Join Vinnie in helping students by creating your own legacy at Monmouth University. Contact Lucille Flynn, senior director of leadership programs, at 732-571-3502 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on planned gifts and bequests.