Rich Luzzo ’84 and his brothers – John ’83, Tim ’88, Bob ’90, and Marty ’97 – didn’t have a choice when it came to where they would attend high school. “My father told us we were going to Marist,” said Rich. “My parents sacrificed a lot for us, and both felt that Catholic education was very important.”
What started out as a mandate; however, quickly became a proud tradition. Rich’s children, Meghan ’12 and Sam ’15, as well as his nephews and nieces are all RedHawks. Although their Marist might not be the same as their fathers’ Marist, for Rich at least, one thing still rings true: “Marist provides students with an excellent education in a competitive environment that prepares them for the next steps in life.”
Rich considers his daughter lucky because his favorite teacher, Larry Malito, was still teaching English while she was at Marist. But, Meghan nor Sam ever experienced passing the point with Al Brazen or kneeling for an entire gym period because Coach Dooley was unhappy with the students’ listening skills.
After high school, Rich attended Illinois State University with classmate Tim Finn ’84, who was his roommate all four years. Shortly after graduation, Rich was hired by the Railroad Retirement Board where he remains today as the deputy director of field service – managing all of the organization’s offices east of the Mississippi River.
Rich and his wife Mary Fran believe strongly in setting an example for their children to give back and make a difference. They were both active parishioners of Incarnation Catholic Parish and passionate advocates of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In fact, Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service nominated Rich for the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his work with the foundation. “We made many friends over the years who have been impacted by Cystic Fibrosis,” Rich explained. “I considered my efforts the least I could do to assist them.”
Rich’s volunteer spirit also has touched Marist through the years. Rich has served as a class chair, volunteered at alumni events, and organized sports activities for grade school students. “A lot of my fellow alums and family members have assisted me in many of these activities and events, so I’d like to think I am receiving the Time and Eternity Award on behalf of all of us,” he said.
When he’s not working, volunteering or spending time with his family, Rich is traveling or enjoying a round of golf. He has his sights set on retiring in Florida in a few years so he can play golf year-round.