Learning about the life and career of Bloomfield’s John Delucca ’66 conjures up images of the Energizer Bunny™ who just keeps going and going. With a gregarious personality and boundless love of people that together engender him to perpetually seek new endeavors, Delucca says his successes all tie back to the foundation he received at Bloomfield College.
“From my start at Bloomfield College, I made it all the way to serving as an executive vice president of a Fortune 500 company,” says Delucca, who earned a bachelor of arts in business administration in 1966 at Bloomfield, and later earned his MBA at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “I know I would not have done as much as I have if it were not for what Bloomfield did for me.”
The first in his family to attend college, Delucca came from humble beginnings. He was a commuter student who could not afford a car. Luckily, a neighbor on his block in Nutley where he grew up was attending Bloomfield and offered to give him rides each day. His friend’s schedule made it so Delucca had no choice but to be on campus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
“I had so many open hours on campus while I waited for my daily ride, that it was natural for me to become involved,” he says. “I got my homework done, went to the library and joined several clubs. I got to know a lot of people, and quickly learned the hierarchy of the student government.”
This perseverance to get involved led to Delucca being voted vice president of his sophomore class. When the president of the class transferred out that same year, Delucca then became president of his class year for the remaining months. When it was time for the next year’s student class elections, Delucca was voted president of the junior class. Simultaneously, he served as president of Tau Alpha Kappa (TAK), one of three fraternities that existed on campus at the time. He also acted as fraternity editor of the Minuteman, the College newspaper.
“I joined TAK because it was an inclusive social fraternity with a good amount of diversity, which was important to me,” he says. “We had a lot of fun. One year, it seemed TAK controlled the school in that three class presidents were members of the fraternity. I have great memories of my days at Bloomfield and enjoy reminiscing about all the spirited antics we were involved in.”
Today, Delucca is retired after a 30-plus year career in the financial industry where his specialties included financial restructuring, corporate governance and oversight, strategic initiatives and shareholder value creation. His numerous roles have included serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer with REL Consultancy Group in Purchase, NY and London; senior vice president and treasurer at RJR Nabisco and as executive vice president, Finance and Administration at Coty Inc. He also served as an active member on 12 different boards, including director and chairman of the audit committee at companies including Endo Pharmaceuticals, Elliott Company, Deltacom and British Energy. During his highly successful career, Delucca found time to also teach graduate business courses as an adjunct professor at Fordham University and Seton Hall University, among others.
In his enthusiastically close association with his alma mater, Delucca served as chair of the Alumni Association for 11 years, earning the Alumnus of the Year Award in 2015. In 2016, he was named Bloomfield College Alumni Association president emeritus for his leadership and significant contributions at the College.
“Participation in the Alumni Association was small at the time. I recruited friends to get involved and raised attendance at our meetings from about a dozen to 30-35 people,” says Delucca. “We established alumni Homecoming events and held four to five galas over the years with funds raised going to student scholarships. These events brought corporate support and sponsorships, and increased name recognition to the College.”
Delucca also holds the distinction of being named the first Bloomfield College alumnus to serve on its board of trustees. He served admirably for more than 26 years, holding the position of vice chair of the board for more than a decade, and also served on the Executive Committee, Trusteeship and Development Committee, and Audit Committee of the board. During these years, he mentored numerous students who have benefited from his guidance. He retired from the board of trustees in 2021 at which time he was named trustee emeritus.
In addition to his contributions of time and talent, Delucca has generously given to Bloomfield College including a major gift he donated during the building of Franklin Street Residence Hall. A plaque hanging adjacent to the Alumni Rooftop, a popular outdoor event space in the residence hall, acknowledges the gift bestowed in his son’s memory.
At its inaugural Distinguished Alumni Brunch held at The Highlawn in May 2023, the Bloomfield College Alumni Association (BCAA) presented Delucca with the Distinguished Alumni Presidential Award for his decades of dedication and service in support of Bloomfield College students.
“It is important to smell the roses,” says Delucca. “Enjoy the people around you and give back. I have accomplished and contributed as I have due to hard work, luck, timing and, most importantly, networking. That is key advice I like to pass along to current students. Keep in touch with other people, and especially step forward when you can help other people.”