Assumption Announces Naming of Richard J. and Sophia Catrambone Health Sciences Center

Sep 27, 2021

In recognition of their commitment to the value of a strong, Catholic liberal education that emphasizes humanity and patient-centered care as the focus of its curriculum, Richard J. Catrambone, D.M.D., M.D. ’81, and his wife, Sophia, have made a generous lead multi-million dollar gift in the naming of the University’s new health sciences building. Generous and steadfast supporters of Assumption, the Catrambones dedicate the Richard J. and Sophia Catrambone Health Sciences Center to the students who will grace Assumption with their desire to become competent and compassionate health care providers.

Exterior of the Richard J. and Sophia Catrambone Health Sciences Center at Assumption University in Worcrster, Massachusetts.

“Sophia and I are honored to support Assumption and the innovative learning taking place in the state-of-the-art Health Sciences Center that provides a high-quality learning environment and a place for students to gather, collaborate, and exchange ideas,” said Dr. Catrambone. “In this building, students will learn, like I did, the very important academic and didactic information that they will need as they contemplate and pursue their individual callings. More importantly, through Assumption’s liberal arts education, they will develop as a person, as a colleague, as a neighbor, and as a citizen. One of the greatest assets of Assumption is that students not only receive an exemplary education, but they are provided the tools needed to develop as a critical thinker.”

Dr. Catrambone credits Assumption for providing him with a comprehensive pre-medical and liberal arts education from which he was able to excel in dental and medical school and build a successful oral and maxillofacial surgery practice. He and his wife come from modest means. Dr. Catrambone was the first in his family to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Sophia emigrated with her family from Vietnam in 1980 and they were the beneficiaries of critical support from the Roman Catholic society Opus Dei when they arrived in the United States. Through hard work and the support of their families, the Catrambones succeeded and are now financially supporting those organizations and institutions that helped them thrive. “Sophia and I feel that we have received a tremendous amount from others and we are just doing our part to help Assumption, an institution that has given us so much,” said Dr. Catrambone. 

“We are grateful to Dr. Catrambone and Sophia for their generous gift and their commitment to the future of Assumption University and its students,” said President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. “Since graduating from Assumption, Dr. Catrambone has built a successful dental practice and his and Sophia’s story serves as an inspiration for Assumption students as they prepare for and pursue lives of meaning. The Catrambone family’s legacy will be a constant reminder for students as they enter the Health Sciences Center where they will integrate a strong liberal arts education with the knowledge and skills in the health sciences that will form them into caregivers who will treat the whole person with empathy and compassion and value the dignity of every human being.”

Dr. Catrambone, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Until his retirement, he was an assistant clinical professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where he taught for 28 years. He is also the chairman of the Department of Oral Health at the Steward Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton, where he has maintained a private practice since 1993. After graduating with honors from Assumption and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Catrambone completed a four-year residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Tufts. He then completed a one-year fellowship in anesthesiology at Boston City Hospital. Furthering his studies in medicine, Dr. Catrambone graduated with honors from Boston University School of Medicine after which he completed a PGY-2 year of general surgery training at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. 

Dr. Catrambone served as president of the alumni associations of the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and the Boston University School of Medicine, where he currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board.

The Catrambones have two children, Christopher, an estate planning attorney, and Karina, who will be joining her father’s practice after completing a residency program in oral and maxillofacial surgery in Brooklyn, NY. 

In November 2020, Assumption completed construction of the 41,000-square-foot Richard J. and Sophia Catrambone Health Sciences Center, a three-story building with a number of state-of-the-art teaching facilities equipped with the latest training tools to benefit those in the Froelich School of Nursing, School of Health Professions, and several other departments and majors. The nursing floor features a large nursing skills lab with seven full-sized hospital beds for teaching patient care, as well as four simulation labs with high-fidelity “manikins” that simulate actual patient conditions that can be controlled remotely by a simulation lab technician. Four state-of-the-art classrooms were designed for active learning in a realistic clinical environment, and a number of spacious study areas, conference rooms, and lounges located throughout the building encourage collaboration among students.