Dr. Joseph A. Grande
Joseph Grande’s interest in the arts began when he was the hunter in his first grade play and was later reinforced when he played the role of Santa Claus in the seventh grade Christmas play and sang in the chorus. Throughout his childhood he enjoyed going to the theatre as well as to the Philharmonic, opera, and ballet.
When Dr. Grande enrolled at Buffalo State Teacher’s College, he quickly became involved in Casting Hall with roles as a behind the scenes person, business manager, and actor. He also directed a variety show on the Rockwell Hall stage. In addition to his theater activities, Dr. Grande was a member of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity and was active with The Record and the Newman Club.
After Dr. Grande graduated summa cum laude from Buffalo State in 1953 with a degree in Elementary Education, the next several years were dedicated to graduate school. In 1958, Dr. Grande joined the faculty at D’Youville College, where he remained until his retirement in 1995.
Throughout his life, he and his wife, Marguerite, were supporters of the arts. They frequently travelled to Saratoga Springs in July to enjoy either the NYC Ballet or the NYC Opera while they were in residence and also went to New York City to enjoy the theatre as well as the ballet. They were in attendance at the New York City Ballet the night George alanchine died.
The Grandes were also strong supporters of local theater, including the Kavinoky Theatre at D’Youville College, and were involved in the Shaw Festival Guild in Niagara-on-the-Lake for many years. Following his retirement and Marguerite’s passing in 1998, Dr. Grande became involved in the Asolo Repertory Theatre Guild (the state theatre of Florida) and served on the board in several capacities and for two years as president.
Dr. Grande knows his involvement in the arts has enriched his life in so many ways. He established this scholarship to provide others with the opportunity to follow their love of theater and the arts.