In honor of their son Raymond, who passed away in 2011, Thomas and Roseann Michelli have established an endowed scholarship to be awarded to a Department of Communication major with an interest in sports announcing.
“To award a scholarship will be an ongoing continuing way for us to keep Ray’s legacy alive,” said Thomas Michelli, a member of the Monmouth University Board of Trustees. “This is something where every year we can meet the awarded student and be more involved.”
Raymond graduated from Monmouth University in 2000 with a baccalaureate degree in Communication and a strong passion for sports. Although a lifelong battle with Duchenne muscular dystrophy kept Ray from participating in athletics, he pursued his love for sports in other ways. This passion was so profound that Kevin Callahan, Monmouth University’s head football coach, called and offered him a position as the team’s statistician, which Ray proudly took, his father said.
“Ray’s experience at Monmouth was pretty special. He got to go to all of the football team’s games, and was very insistent about his obligation,” said Michelli. “He really enjoyed the Athletics and Communication programs.”
During his time at Monmouth University, Ray also worked at radio station WMCX as a DJ and as a sportscaster. The hosts of Ray’s sports announcing show called themselves “The Brew Crew,” said his mother, Roseann Michelli. “Ray did so much at Monmouth University; it was like his second home,” she said.
The Department of Communication named its radio studio in Ray’s honor as a result of a prior donation by the Michelli family. Roseann and Thomas Michelli said that this further prompted the scholarship idea. “We think Monmouth University is a phenomenal institution, and we want to continue to stay involved as much as possible for as long as we can,” Thomas Michelli said.
“Ray was a delight as a student. He brought passion and engagement to the classroom, and students and faculty alike were inspired by his dedication to his craft,” said Chad Dell, Chair of the Department of Communication. “I’m really touched by this gift, which will mean so much to students pursuing their dreams in sports broadcasting, and which is a wonderful remembrance of an outstanding member of our community.”
The first scholarship will be awarded on May 5, 2013 at the annual Communication awards ceremony.