is with great sadness that SUNY Erie Community College announces the passing of
its former professor and president Dr. William J. Mariani, who died Sunday, June 25 at
Buffalo's Gates Vascular Institute. He was 67 years old.
Mariani was a tremendous leader for this college, and a very hard act to
follow,” said current ECC President Jack Quinn, who became the college’s next
full-time president following Mariani’s departure. “He was a tireless advocate
for our entire college community and the enormity of its mission. And
personally, I’ll miss him as both a colleague and a friend. He will be missed
by our entire ECC family, and we extend our sincerest condolences to his wife,
Marcia, and the entire Mariani family.”
serving ECC as professor in its School of Management and founding dean of the
Division of Development and Community Services, Dr. Mariani became the eighth president of ECC in 1997, and departed in 2006. His
contributions to the three-campus college—and to D'Youville College, where he
transitioned into executive vice president and interim president after his
years at ECC—were numerous.
his guidance, the college turned a $5 million budget deficit into a $4 million
reserve fund. He led the implementation of the college’s alumni-focused ECC
Foundation; steered its rise to becoming a regionally lauded leader in
Workforce Development; helped launch the college’s still-thriving football
program; established its rapidly expanding Distance Learning Program; and made
ECC the region’s top choice of high school students for seven consecutive
years. This makes his passing even more prominent to generations of Erie County
residents turned community college graduates.
was shocked and saddened to hear the news about the sudden passing of former
ECC President Bill Mariani,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “It’s
with a heavy heart that I extend condolences to the Mariani family and to the
greater Erie Community College family as well. Bill will be warmly remembered
and greatly missed.”
graduate of D’Youville College and St. Bonaventure University, Dr. Mariani was
the first community college president ever to be elected Chair of the Western
New York Higher Education Consortium, and collected accolades as the Anthony
Castiglia Italian-American Leadership Council “Man of the Year” Award, Junior
Achievement’s Educator of the Year Award, and the Lake Erie Italian Club’s Special
professional affiliations and community service activities included membership
in the New York State Association of Community College Presidents, involvement
in the Erie County Workforce Investment Board and Western New York Higher
Education Consortium, and past president of the Rotary Club of Hamburg.
announcing his departure from ECC in 2006, Dr. Mariani said to ECC faculty and
staff, “As many of you know, I was always in this for the students. I can only
hope that the experiences and wisdom I have gained in my role as president will
allow me to do what I have always encouraged my faculty to do – maintain a true
spirit, love and enthusiasm for the teaching and learning process.”
Mariani is survived by his wife, Marcia, and his children, Dr. Mara Mariani and
William Mariani II, Esq., his mother, Elisabeth, and his sister, Deborah
(Anthony) Palumbo. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.
Since 1946, Erie
Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while
contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the
state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and
accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment.
Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, ECC’s faculty, staff and
students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and
partnership. For more information, visit www.ecc.edu
or call (716) 851-1ECC.