Anchor affirms commitment to community

By Jeny Varughese
March 17, 2011

Pat Ciarrocchi, anchor of CBS 3 Eyewitness News, was presented with the 2011 Ivy Young Willis Award amidst Cabrini students, faculty, the Willis family and other members of the community.

“You have a wonderful tradition here and I am so thrilled to be a part of it,” Ciarrocchi said. “I was honored to accept the honorary doctorate award in 1997 and I am beyond thrilled to be here again today.”

The Ivy Young Willis Award program began in 1992 through the generosity of William G. Willis in honor of his late wife to recognize women who have made great contributions to the field of public affairs. Willis hoped to present a role model to women and to encourage them to consider a career in public service.

Ivy Young Willis, a pioneer for designing a curriculum for teaching to read on television, was a teacher, administrator and a reading consultant.

“Greatness can be taught, cultivated and recognized only if the student has the desire to study it, explore it and to embrace it,” Ciarrocchi said. “For some, the only measure of greatness is money.”

Ciarrocchi found greatness through her family’s belief in her and her dream and in the advice given by her father to pray. Her philosophy for the journey of life is that it is based on the agenda you have set for yourself on a spiritual level.

“Pat’s professional career is only part of why she is the award recipient this year,” Dr. Marie

George, president of Cabrini, said.

“Pat has used her talents and skills to better the lives of others committing her personal time to community activism and fundraising for issues affecting women and children.”

Ciarrocchi is involved with several social causes, including being on the boards of the Easter Seal Society of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Susan G. Komen’s race for the cure.

Pat Ciarrocchi spoke in fornt of a crowd after accepting the 2011 Ivy Young Willis Award. She is involved with Susan G. Komen’s race for the cure and the Pat Ciarrocchi Golf Classic. --victoria tarver / staff writer

She has raised money for local charities through the Pat Ciarrocchi Golf Classic and Pat’s Passion for Fashion Show and Auction.

Ciarrocchi’s professional accomplishments have been recognized in many ways. She was presented with the Gabriel award from the National Catholic Association of Broadcasters, a CEBA award recognizing communication excellence to black audiences and a Sarah award from women in communication. She was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2000.

Ciarrochi’s speech left an impression in the hearts of many attendees.

“I have never met a public figure who is such a spiritual and strong-willed person,” Benita Mathew, freshman pre-medicine major, said.

“It’s very hard to get a sense of who Ms. Ciarrocchi is as a person just by watching her on TV,” Rob Anderson, Willis’ grandson, said. “She just has a personal message on how to make the most out of your life.”

According to Ciarrocchi, she found inspiration in a beach towel on display at Bloomingdales, which said, “To be good is not enough when you dream of being great.” Her dream of doing network quality work at a local level came true in March of 1982, when she joined the CBS 3 news team.

After joining the CBS 3 team, Ciarrocchi has worked as a show host, medical reporter and news anchor.

“Her speech gave a good solid Christian foundation to students,” Dr. James Hedtke, professor of history & political science, said. “When teachers stress excellence, students will respond to that and her message about greatness conveyed that.”

“I can definitely relate to several of her stories,” Dana Berardi, sophomore political science and history major, said. “I come from an Italian family and so it was sentimental because I myself want to be great and not just be good at what I do.”

During the selection process Ciarrocchi’s name was at the top of the list, according to Darryl Mace, assistant professor of history and political science.

“Ms. Ciarrocchi has a big heart and is concerned with humanity,” George said.




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Jeny Varughese

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