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Late alum’s passion, generosity live on through scholarship

Printer-friendly version Posted Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 12:30
Frank Oppedisano
Frank Oppedisano

Alfred State always meant a great deal to Frank Oppedisano.

It was there that the Honeoye Falls native was able to further his passions for learning and playing sports. As a student, he joined the Alfred Society of Refrigeration Engineers and was a member of the 1959 men’s basketball team that won the first Region III Championship in Alfred State history. Oppedisano would also frequently comment that the college provided him with the foundation that allowed him to excel in his career.

And just as Oppedisano cherished his alma mater, so too was he beloved as a longtime employee at Postler & Jaeckle Corp. out of Rochester. After he passed away in June 2015, the company literally paid tribute to Oppedisano by making a generous donation of $50,000 to the college to create the Frank Oppedisano ’60 Memorial Endowed Scholarship.

A 1960 graduate of the refrigeration program, Oppedisano worked from 1974 to 2015 at Postler & Jaeckle, a mechanical contracting company.

According to Beth Howard, principal at Postler & Jaeckle, Oppedisano’s core competency was that he was an incredibly talented mechanical engineer. This allowed him to perform various duties, including sales, estimating, project management, design-build, and value engineering.

During his tenure at the company, Oppedisano held multiple roles at the VP level, with functions ranging from engineering to construction execution. He was directly responsible for the completion of larger projects, particularly the most challenging ones, Howard said.

As stated in the scholarship’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), “Oppedisano was very highly regarded in the construction community in which he lived and worked. He was revered not only for his technical skill, but also for always striving to do the right thing and exceeding expectations. He had high ideals and inspired the same from those around him.”

The MOU continues, “His professionalism and care for his customers and peers are unparalleled. He left the construction industry he loved so much in a better place, having mentored so many who are now enthusiastically carrying on his vision. It is in this spirit that the Frank Oppedisano Memorial Endowed Scholarship was created.”

The first disbursement of funds for the scholarship will be in the fall of the 2017-2018 academic year. In order to be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

The company that Oppedisano worked for and whose generosity made the scholarship possible, Postler & Jaeckle, was founded in June 1964, and continues to please customers to this day by combining the latest in mechanical systems with Old World pride in workmanship. The company focuses on construction, service, HVAC/plumbing, and fabrication in New York State and norther Pennsylvania.

According to its website, Postler & Jaeckle “established an organization that has built a solid reputation by providing craftsmanship and service second to none. They pride themselves on integrity and the level of expertise they bring to each of their projects.”

Postler & Jaeckle, the website continues, “became a leader in the field by meeting the needs of private owner, developers, environmental contractors, general contractors, and subcontractors. Their business philosophy is to do an excellent job, no matter what the size of the contract and in the most economical way possible. Integrity and quality will always be their mission statement.”

Integrity and quality are two words that can also be associated with Frank Oppedisano. With his vast amount of knowledge, Howard said, he never passed up an opportunity to help those around him grow.

“He was constantly mentoring both his coworkers and clients,” she said. “Frank was the best kind of leader in that he never shied away from asking tough questions and holding people accountable. What made him so special is that he never set out to solve others’ problems for them, but rather to guide them in developing their own solutions. He taught those around him to be critical thinkers.”

men standing in front of a truck
For more than 40 years, Alfred State alum Frank Oppedisano, middle, worked at Postler &
Jaeckle Corp., which made a $50,000 donation to the college to create a scholarship in
Oppedisano’s memory.

As for his relationships with his customers, Oppedisano was very detail-oriented and concerned himself not only with the construction phase, but also with ensuring peak performance after installation.

“He was not afraid to ask questions if he thought there might be a better way,” Howard noted. “One of the greatest feelings is achieving a level of success that enables you to help others. Frank was a great contributor to our success.”

Given that Oppedisano was not only an invaluable employee at Postler & Jaeckle, but that he constantly sought the best for his clients and always looked to bring out the best in his fellow workers, it is only fitting that the company memorialized his legacy of helping others by creating a scholarship at Alfred State. Through this, Oppedisano’s spirit of generosity will live on, as future generations of mechanical engineering technology students will be able to attend college and fulfill their dreams at the same school that meant so much to him.

“We are very appreciative of having Frank in our lives for 40-plus years,” Howard said. “He was selfless with his time in teaching others, so we thought it would be fitting to have him memorialized through a scholarship where he can continue to help others grow.”