The Aquinas Medal recognizes outstanding and distinguished service to the social, education, and cultural communities.
2017 Aquinas Medal Honorees
Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Stephanie Persico
Frank G. Persico is the Vice President for University Relations and Chief of Staff in the Office of the President at The Catholic University of America. As vice president he oversees the Office of the General Counsel, major University Events, Public Safety, and Compliance and Ethics. A graduate of Catholic University, he has spent his professional career in university administration. Prior to his current position and over the past three decades, Frank has held various posts at CUA including dean of students, executive director of alumni relations and associate dean of the university's law school.
Mr. Persico studied drama during his undergraduate years under the legendary Father Gilbert Hartke, founder of Catholic University's drama department. He subsequently received his master's degree in higher education administration, also at CUA. Frank has been a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Thomas Aquinas College since 2007 and is a member of the Board of Directors of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md. In 2008, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI conferred upon him the Benemerenti Medal for his long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church. In April 2009, Catholic University's Alumni Association presented Mr. Persico with the Frank A. Kuntz, '07 Award for service to CUA. In September 2016, His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, presented Frank with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (for Church and Pope) Medal for his help in the planning and execution of Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to the United States.
Stephanie Wagner Persico, known to her friends as Stevie, received her training in architecture from Catholic University. Before retiring in 2016, she worked as a Federal Government employee for 41 years in agencies such as the General Services Administration, the National Credit Union Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Justice. Throughout her career she supervised the building of courtrooms, airports, office buildings, and laboratories. Perhaps her greatest professional accomplishment was the establishment of a standard laboratory design that has been replicated numerous times throughout the country and, in essence, has saved the American taxpayers millions of dollars in design and construction costs over the last two decades.
Likely, Stevie’s greatest challenge was successfully juggling the tremendous responsibilities of her architectural career with her most important role as the mother of two. She took great pride in her hands-on approach to parenthood and was always actively involved in the daily schedules of her children. When she was not traveling throughout the country supervising her multi-million-dollar government projects, she doubled as “mom’s taxi” to swim practice, volleyball, pizza parties, and the like.
Frank and Stephanie reside in Maryland. They have two children, Lauren McCarthy of Alexandria, Va., and Robert Persico of Los Angeles.
Past Aquinas Medal Honorees
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