“There’s something about helping people I’ve always liked,” says Phil Faccone ’15. “I get enjoyment out of it.”
Helping people is something Phil Faccone has spent a lot of time doing, enthusiastically, behind the scenes and in leadership roles at Wagner College.
He volunteers with Wagner football’s annual drive for the National Bone Marrow Donor Program’s “Be The Match” initiative, registering hundreds of new people who could potentially save a life. Last Christmas season, he and other members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes packed 300 gift boxes for needy children. He leads Bible studies. He spends holidays visiting children in the hospital. He’s vice president for community service of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and president of the ODK honor society. He has walked in the Relay for Life and coached at a summer football camp to raise money for cancer research. He pitched in for many days after Hurricane Sandy, bringing water and food and other kinds of immediate relief to the flooded residents of the Staten Island eastern shore. Last spring, he was out replanting the dune grasses.
Just as his Seahawk football position — long snapper — generally goes unrecognized (“unless you mess up,” as he acknowledges), he never expected to get recognition for his contributions.
But he did get recognized, big time, when Wagner football nominated him for the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which honors college football players who not only succeed on the field but also contribute to the greater good of their communities. Faccone was one of the 22 selected out of 182 nominations.
The Good Works team was honored at halftime of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on New Year’s Day. Faccone was thrilled to meet football heroes like Tim Tebow and Archie Manning as well as his fellow Good Works team members. During the weeklong trip, they offered a football camp for the New Orleans YMCA. “It was the greatest week of my life,” Faccone says.
He’s just as enthusiastic about his academic studies as he is about football and community service. He’s majoring in sociology, with a minor in government and politics, and aiming to enter public service in an agency such as the FBI or the State Department.
“I’ve had an excellent experience with my major,” he says. “Dr. [Steve] Snow, Dr. [Cyril] Ghosh — I love them to death. They’re very opinionated, and I love hearing opinions. They make class an open forum. Sometimes we spend the whole class talking about current events.”
“It’s a pleasure to have Phil in my class,” replies Professor Ghosh. “He never speaks out of turn. When he does speak, he usually has a critical insight or a particularly nuanced observation. Above all, it is his maturity of thinking that has impressed me the most.”
A thinker, a doer, a team player. Impressive, indeed.