About Michael D. Ferugio
The Penn State Alumni Club of NYC started this scholarship endowment fund in 1993 with great hopes to create an ongoing scholarship award that would perpetuate the ideals of New York City Penn State spirit.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, 37-year-old Michael David Ferugio, Penn State Engineering Class of 1987 and former NYC Alumni Club President, was attending a meeting at Aon Corporation on the 105 floor of the South tower of the World Trade Center. He never came home.
Michael was the embodiment of Penn State spirit and was a champion of the human spirit. He was the son of a steam pipe fitter and the grandson of a coal miner. He never forgot where he came from, and his success did not change his outlook on life, friends said. His smile was contagious. He didn't brag or boast. His helping hand was a secret known only to those he helped. He led by example.
If you ever spoke with Michael you might have thought he and Joe Paterno were longtime friends.
Ferugio often wore blue and white. His mood soared and soured depending on the success or failure of the Penn State football team. He loved to recount the 1987 Fiesta Bowl match-up between Miami and the underdog Nittany Lions, who defeated their opponent with grit and will. "It was the greatest day in his life -- second to our wedding, but I'm not quite sure," says his wife, Susan, with a laugh.
As an insurance broker at Swett & Crawford, a division of Aon, Ferugio befriended many people, including those who emptied his garbage can and vacuumed his cubicle. Susan, who lived with her husband in Brooklyn, learned of these friends after flipping through his address book. One entry read: "Ludmilla, cleaning woman, 31st floor-WT2, son is at Penn State!!"
When Joe Paterno heard that Ferugio was lost on that dreadful day, he wrote a letter that was read at Michael’s funeral service. "Mike truly was Penn State proud and Mike made Penn State proud of him," he wrote.
The NYC Penn State community was so moved by the example of Michael’s Penn State spirit that many contributions were made in his honor to complete the scholarship’s first level of endowment. It was only fitting that in 2002 this scholarship was officially renamed in honor of Michael David Ferugio, an amazing Penn Stater and an amazing man.
We look to award this scholarship each year to a NYC area student like Michael will represent the ideals of Penn State proudly and honorably – successfully pursuing and accomplishing his/her life goals while giving back to the community along their way.