Creating a Family Legacy

Creating a Family Legacy - the Ranucci family

The Ranucci family and friends.

$1 million irrevocable planned gift establishes The Ranucci Family Legacy at Montclair State.

Montclair State University announced a $1 million irrevocable planned gift established by alumna Rita E. Ranucci ’64 to create The Ranucci Family Legacy at a ceremony dedicating The Ranucci Family Rehearsal Hall on May 22, 2014. In addition to the naming of the choral rehearsal hall, located in Chapin Hall, the University has recognized the planned gift by establishing an endowed fund within the Montclair State University Foundation to support priorities of the president.

Creating a Family Legacy - the Ranucci family The roots of the Ranucci family legacy at Montclair State reach back to 1933, when Rita Ranucci’s late parents, Ernest “Ernie” Ranucci and Barbara “Barby” Helmer Ranucci, graduated from the institution. A Fulbright scholar, he earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mathematics, while she received a BA in Science. The couple trained teachers in those fields in Latin America and were Peace Corps trainers in the Marshall Islands. 

Rita Ranucci earned a BA in Music from Montclair State in 1964. A retired orchestra director for Somerville Public Schools in Somerville, Massachusetts, she has also taught strings and instrumental music in New Jersey, Connecticut and The Netherlands. Ranucci founded two summer music programs: The Hague Summer Music Center and the Somerville String Camp, a three-week program open to any age and income group. A cellist, she has performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Dutch Baroque Ensemble in The Netherlands.

“We are most grateful to Rita Ranucci for establishing the Ranucci Family Legacy at her and her parents’ alma mater,” said Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole. “This generous leadership gift will make it possible for deserving students to realize their talents and ambitions.” 

Ranucci and her husband, Peter Lieberman, their children, Eben Ranucci Lieberman and Corrine Ochsner Lieberman, other members of the Ranucci family, as well as a number of her 1964 classmates and friends were present at the official dedication of the Ranucci Family Rehearsal Hall. 

The ceremony included remarks and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in the Chapin Hall lobby by Dr. Cole. In the Leshowitz Recital Hall, the Ranuccis and their guests appreciated a surprise performance of Arensky’s “Piano Trio No. 1" by the Cali Trio, comprised of students graduating this year. Following was a celebratory lunch in the newly named rehearsal hall.