A Home for Compassionate Caregivers
The Dedication of the Richard J. and Sophia Catrambone Health Sciences Center
On May 6, the Assumption community gathered to celebrate another significant milestone in the University’s history—the dedication of Richard J. and Sophia Catrambone Health Sciences Center, a building that will form and empower the next generation of compassionate nurses, physician’s assistants, and other health care professionals to be compassionate caregivers with a foundation steeped in the Catholic liberal tradition.
“When construction began on the building, I said the caregivers being formed in it would be unique, not simply because of the skills they will have learned, but because of the people they will have become,” said Interim President Greg Weiner, Ph.D. “There is no better way to dedicate this extraordinary facility and all that will happen in it than for it to bear Rick and Sophia’s names. For years to come, students of nursing, physician assistant studies, and other health professions will enter this building knowing of the example of its namesakes. Rick and Sophia are exemplars of skilled and humane healing and the enduring comprehensive value of Catholic liberal education.”
Last September, Assumption announced the naming of its newest building in honor of Richard J. Catrambone, D.M.D., M.D. ’81, and his wife, Sophia, who made a generous lead multi-million-dollar gift in support of education health professionals. 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 came from modest means, but through hard work and the support of their families, the Catrambones succeeded. They are now financially supporting those organizations and institutions that helped them thrive.
“When I heard that Assumption would be educating nurses, physician assistants, and other health care providers, I could not have been more pleased, nor could I be more confident that Assumption would educate not only competent health care providers but kind, caring, compassionate health care providers in the Catholic tradition,” said Dr. Catrambone, who is also a member of Assumption’s Board of Trustees. He shared that when he attended the Grenon School of Business unveiling and saw the placard for this future building, “something clicked.”
“Through the generosity of Rick and Sophia, the University offers to its students 41,000 square feet of state-of-the-art learning 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,” said President Emeritus Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. “Rick and Sophia, you are not only transforming the lives of our students but also their future patients, the lives they will improve and the lives they will save. The impact of your gift is incalculable.”
Caitlin Stover, Ph.D., RN, dean of the Froelich School of Nursing, shared that the building has become a home for Assumption nursing students. “These students are home, and they are thriving,” she said. “Assumption is developing the strong and resilient workforce needed to conquer the healthcare system in this country and it is the Assumption graduate who will be the leader of the healthcare team, driving towards health equity – because these are the principles learned here, in this building, together, with their professional family, thanks to Richard and Sophia.”
James Bachini ’23 is one of those students. “I am appreciative that the Catrambones have given Assumption the chance to grow academically, providing such a wonderful facility to educate the next generation of health care providers,” he said. “The Catrambone Health Sciences Center has already become a second home for many students. For me and the members of my cohort it is a place where we have all our nursing classes, our on-campus clinicals, and many nursing-related events. Personally, I am thankful for the ability to utilize this building for studying during school hours and many hours after. I hope we don’t wear this building out too fast as it is so helpful, state of the art, and beautiful.”
Bachini also helped to unveil the new Christ the Health statue that adorns the entrance to the building, which was followed by a ribbon cutting and the unveiling of the building’s name.
“My father was the greatest man I ever knew, and he always told me that the best investment you can make is an investment in yourself through education, an education he never had the opportunity to have,” shared Dr. Catrambone. “He was always supporting me and encouraging me. Without my father I would not be here today. It is also fitting that his name is on this building, because we share the same name.”
Dr. Catrambone concluded with an ask of Assumption students. “Someday, when you’re established, pay it forward in any way that you can,” he said, “so that you can help Assumption University create opportunities for the future generation of students.”