President's Message

September 2017

To all faculty, students, and alumni:

I am writing this letter with a deep sense of sadness.  Good friend and member of the Faculty Club Board of Managers, Jerry Massa’77 unexpectedly passed away recently.  Since meeting Jerry over four decades ago, I considered him a friend, but he was more than just a friend of the Club. While he was always outgoing and welcoming to members and staff, he served as an advocate for the Club within the larger Brown community.  He will be severely missed by all of us.  

Staff members were treated like family members and have expressed their grief though comments about Jerry that I share here. Cheryl Carberry, the Club's Function Manager, stated “every time he visited the Club, he warmly greeted the staff by name, asked about their families and children and expressed pride in their personal accomplishments.”  Carol Knowles, Claudia Rojas and Oldenisa “Nony” Fontes-Louro offered that it’s “hard to forget someone who gave you so much to remember.”  Kristen DePetro noted that Jerry was “inspiring the way he balanced his professional career with his passions for Brown, Brown Football Association, friends and most importantly his family.”  

Examples of his big heart went beyond the immediate staff.  Henry Louro, Nony’s husband, shared that Jerry, despite the fact that they had not previously met, provided the Louro family with VIP treatment at a football game.  As was Jerry’s way, from that day on he treated the Louro family as if they were longtime friends.  Claudia noted the pride that Jerry had in her daughter Lois’ graduation from college, always reminding everyone that Claudia’s daughter shared the name of his wife Lois, the love of his life.

The Board of Managers lost a dedicated, personable and professional member when we lost Jerry. As Jon Land ‘79 expressed in a note to the Board, “Jerry was passionate about many things, but the Faculty Club occupied a unique space in his heart.  He made frequent use of the Club for both his own personal events and those involving the BFA and the Club never let him down.  He was proud to be a Board Member and was the Club's most adamant and vocal supporter among the extended Brown family.”

Next time you visit the Club, stop for a second and take in the photo of Jerry with Chris Berman ‘77.  We will treasure the photo of Jerry displayed in the Club lobby and think of him fondly. He will be truly missed. 

 -- Joseph DiMartino, President of the Brown Faculty Club