Mediacom Communications chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso continues to give back to his community in a big way, this time funding the Rocco B. Commisso American Dream Scholarship Fund” at his high school alma mater, Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx.
The scholarships will be awarded annually to outstanding Mount students entering their sophomore; junior and senior class years who have achieved academic and/or athletic success while displaying leadership and entrepreneurial qualities. The scholarships are designed to reduce the fiscal barriers for young men seeking an Catholic college preparatory education and to build a diversified cadre of successful future leaders.
The American Dream Scholarships and its first student recipients will be introduced at Mount St. Michael’s Honors Convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 23. The ceremony will be followed by a reception in the Mount’s historic Rotunda, which will be renamed the Rocco B. Commisso American Dream Rotunda.
Commisso, a 1967 graduate of Mount St. Michael’s, founded Mediacom Communications in 1995 and grew the company to become the eighth largest cable operator in the country. Commisso has given generously of his time and money to several charitable causes and last year his college alma mater – Columbia Univeristy – renamed its soccer stadium in his honor.
“We are honored to name our Rotunda after Rocco Commisso,” said Mount President, Anthony Miserandino in a statement. “Rocco’s story of success, with deep roots in our Bronx community, serves as an inspiration to our students, many of whom come from immigrant families and are working tirelessly to achieve their own American Dream.” le, added, “the amazing commitment Rocco is showing the Mount through this scholarship program will open opportunities and change lives for many young men in our community for decades to come.”
Born in Calabria, Italy, Commisso immigrated to the United States at age 12. He earned both a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineerin and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. He was elected president of the business school student body, and was the recipient of the prestigious Business School Service Award. He also was co-captain of the Columbia men’s varsity soccer team, named a three-time All-Ivy League honoree, and was invited to participate in the 1972 U.S. Olympic Soccer Team trials. In 2004, on the 250th anniversary of Columbia’s founding, the school’s undergraduate newspaper, Columbia Daily Spectator, listed Commisso among Columbia’s 250 greatest undergraduate alumni of all time. In 2013, Columbia recognized Commisso’s more than 40 years of contributions to its soccer program by naming its soccer venue at the school’s Baker Athletics Complex as the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium.
Commisso serves on the board of directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, C-SPAN and Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. He is a past recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the National Italian American Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and the Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership, the cable television industry’s highest individual honor. Under his guidance, Mediacom has been recognized for outstanding achievements including being named the nation’s best cable company of 2009 by CableFAX magazine and as one of North America's 500 Fastest Growing Technology Companies by Deloitte in 2003. Commisso was welcomed into the SUNY New Paltz School of Business Hall of Fame in 2010, and was also named the school’s Business Person of the Year. He has also been inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and the Cable Center Hall of Fame.
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