To the Syracuse University Community, We write to you in the midst of tremendous pain, sorrow, anger and concern. From scenes in Minnesota, Georgia, New York and beyond, we have witnessed horrific images reminding us that the sting of racism…
University College Honors Late Staff Member Robert Acierno
University College lost a beloved colleague on Aug. 15 when Robert Acierno died at the age of 62. For 29 years, Acierno faithfully sorted the interoffice mail at 700 University Avenue. Despite the many challenges he faced in life, Acierno was an upbeat, hardworking member of the UC team.
“Robert’s kindness very much defines the spirit of University College,” says Mike Frasciello, dean of University College. “He reminded us every day about the joy in smiling and wishing someone a good morning. That is a beautiful message, and one that Robert brought to UC throughout his career.”
“Robert was one of the most caring, kind, and loving people I’ve ever met, and UC won’t be the same without him,” adds Kris Hartnett, administrative assistant at UC. “He knew the names of employees’ spouses, kids, and pets, and asked about them every day. You just couldn’t help but smile when Robert was around.”
Acierno resided in a group residence operated by ARC of Onondaga. In 2000, Acierno was named Person of the Year at ARC’s Achievement Awards Dinner–the highest honor bestowed by the organization. It is given to a person with a developmental disability who has demonstrated significant progress toward living an independent, inclusive life to the fullest potential.
Acierno participated in the ARC’s Athletes in Tandem program at the annual ARC Race in Long Branch Park, where he was teamed with runners from the community to complete a half marathon.
“UC won’t be the same without Robert,” adds Kris Hartnett.
Robert Acierno, beloved son of the late Joseph and Angeline Acierno, is survived by his brother Gerald, sister-in-law Candace, and two nieces. A celebration of his life was held Aug. 21. Donations may be made to the Arc of Onondaga.