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Whale of a Good Time

News Story

We’re planning to have a whale of a good time at this year’s Spirit of Pace Awards Dinner which gives us the opportunity to come together as one Pace Community to celebrate our rich history and bright future.

On Wednesday, June 18, friends and members of the Pace Community will gather together at the American Museum of Natural History for the second annual Spirit of Pace Awards Dinner.

The Spirit of Pace Awards Dinner, which evolved from the Leaders in Management Award Dinner, fully embraces the University’s identity as a leader in higher education. The Spirit of Pace Awards Dinner honors our role as a national leader in providing a college education of clear value—one that is built on a powerful combination of liberal arts and professional preparation, and propels young people to succeed in their careers and lives. With the Spirit of Pace Awards, we continue a tradition that we hope will last for years to come. This event provides us with the opportunity to come together as one Pace Community, proudly celebrating our rich history and bright future.

This year’s award winners include:


Joseph R. Ficalora ’79

A graduate of Pace University with a degree in business and finance, Joseph R. Ficalora is the President and CEO and a director of New York Community Bancorp, Inc.—the 20th largest bank holding company in the nation, with assets of $46.7 billion. Under Ficalora’s leadership, the company has evolved from a mutual savings bank with seven branches to a publicly traded multi-bank holding company with 273 branches.

In addition to his work with the New York Community Bancorp, Ficalora provides leadership to several professional banking organizations, including the American Bankers Association and the New York Bankers Association, just to name a few. He also is an active participant in community affairs. He is President of the Queens Library Foundation and past Chairman of the Board and the Administrative Committee of the Queens Borough Public Library. In addition, he serves on the boards of the New York Hall of Science, New York Hospital-Queens, and Flushing Cemetery; the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the Moving Image; and the Advisory Council of the Queens Museum of Art.


Carll Tucker

Carll Tucker is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Daily Voice, LLC., an online community communications company. Daily Voice publishes 41 community news sites in Westchester and Fairfield counties. Read regularly by more than half the adult populations of these communities, Daily Voice enjoys market penetration unprecedented for any news medium. Tucker founded Daily Voice in 2010.

Tucker graduated from Yale in 1973, after which he began his career as a staff writer and theater critic for the Village Voice newspaper in New York City. He then moved on to serve as the editor and publisher of Saturday Review magazine. Beginning in 1981, Tucker served as the editor and publisher of Trade Publications, which produced The Patent Trader newspaper and a dozen other local publications in Westchester and Fairfield. In 1999, after nearly 18 years, he sold Trader Publications to Gannett Company.

A native of Bedford, NY, Tucker has three children—Peter, Rebecca, and David—and a granddaughter, the irresistible Kai. He is joyfully married to Jane Bryant Quinn, the noted financial writer. They make their home in Manhattan and Dutchess County, NY.


Joseph C. DiBenedetto

In 1971, after four years of working as a public accountant, a then 24-year-old Joseph C. DiBenedetto came to Pace University with the intention of earning a law degree while doing the “less stressful” job of teaching. While he may have intended to return to the corporate world after completing his JD, it was a boon to the many students whose lives he would go on to change that he chose to stay. For the first 35 years of his career at Pace, he was a member of the Westchester faculty and in 2006 transferred to the New York City Campus, where he taught until 2014. Since then, he has returned to the Westchester Campus.

During his more than 40 years at the University, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, courses at Pace Law School, and at Pace-sponsored off-site programs for companies like IBM, The Salvation Army, Corning Inc., and NYNEX. During many years he served as the Department Chair, Pace’s accounting students continually finished in the first and second spots on the New York CPA exam. Dozens of his former students have gone on to become partners in leading accounting firms and some of them now sit on the Lubin Advisory Board. He says of his time at Pace: “The idea of Pace as a training ground for future professions was, is, and will be the thing that draws students here and makes being at Pace a lifelong love affair for the faculty and the staff. It was never a ‘job,’ always a joy.”

To learn more or attend this year’s Spirit of Pace Awards Dinner, visit