Each year, Elmira College alumni select an alumnus or alumna who is exceptionally successful in business, leadership, community, educational, and philanthropic endeavors to become an honoree of the Bette A. Mammone '78 Memorial Academy. This year, alumni selected two recipients: John Zeller '73 and Dr. Susan Pettorini-D'Amico '80.

In order to qualify, recipients must have received their undergraduate or graduate degree from Elmira College and have achieved a high level of professional success in a minimum 20-year career. Recipients travel to Elmira College to facilitate a discussion, a lecture, or master class, and participate in a networking event with students, alumni, guests, and members.

Zeller '73, of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, began his college career at Corning Community College, graduating with an associate's degree in 1971. He then attended Elmira College and graduated in 1973 with a bachelor's in General Studies. He soon returned and received his master's in Education in 1978.

Zeller has stayed connected to higher education throughout his career, including a role at Elmira College. Zeller has shown great aptitude for development work and is currently Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. He has launched many successful fundraising campaigns, including the Power of Penn Campaign, which raised $5.4 billion, exceeding the campaign's goal. Zeller also launched the Making History Campaign, which also beat its goal, raising more than $4.3 billion.

Zeller is a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Council for Advancement and Support to Education, National Society for Fund Raising Executives, and Penn Club in New York City.

In 1998, Corning Community College awarded Zeller with the Distinguished Alumni Award, recognizing him as a positive role model who is involved in his community and for exhibiting accomplishments in his field.

Pettorini-D'Amico of North Haven, Connecticut, received a bachelor's in Biology from Elmira College in 1980 before getting her Registered Nurse degree from St. Vincent's College in 1992, her master's in Nursing Administration from the University of Hartford in 2010, and her doctor of Nursing Practice from Sacred Heart University in 2013.

Pettorini-D'Amico currently serves as the Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Trinity Health of New England. While in her role, the small rural hospital went from recently bankrupt to turning a profit of $7.5 million. She is also an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University and at the University of Hartford.

Among her notable achievements, Pettorini-D'Amico received a Leadership Award from the Organization of Nurse Leaders in New England.

The Mammone '78 Memorial Academy was established in 2018 by the Class of 1978 in the spirit of giving and as part of their traditional 40th Reunion gift. Following the untimely passing of a beloved classmate, Bette A. Mammone '78, in June 2017, the Class decided to make Mammone's dream of creating a forum where alumni could share their knowledge and experience with students as they prepare to meet the challenges and complexities of the world.

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