Yale '62 - Obituaries - Ronald C. Federico

Professor Ronald C. Federico

Born: January 9, 1941
Died: October 2, 1992

Ron was born in New York City and prepared at Deerfield Academy. He was a Sociology honors major, and on the Dean's List. A member of Jonathan Edwards, he had a very active extracurricular career: Political Union, Transportation Club, Dwight Hall (Sophomore Cabinet), chairman Wider City Parish and Big Brothers Program.

Ron earned his master's degree in Social Work at the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in Sociology at Northwestern. He was a prolific author, publishing numerous textbooks on international social welfare systems and had a distinguished academic career. At the University of Maryland he was chairman of the Sociology Department and became Director of Social Work at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Then he served as Associate Director of the National Curriculum Development Program, and Director of Undergraduate Social Work at the University of Cincinnati.

In 1981 he returned to New York as Director of the Westchester Social Work Education Consortium and Professor of Social Work at Iona College. His pioneering work in curriculum development remains the foundation of many Social Work baccalaureate programs in the United States. Among his 14 published books are textbooks in sociology, social psychology and social work, culminating in the global perspective of his Social Welfare in Today's World.

His extracurricular interests were threefold: the history of the great ocean liners, the rise and fall of American railroads and classical ballet. While at Yale he studied ballet in New York City and later performed with several regional dance companies. The art and discipline of ballet remained a lifelong passion. His delight in trains dated to his earliest youth, and he happily recalled his first job "under the clock" at the information desk in Grand Central. He collected shelves of railroad timetables and other memorabilia which complemented his fascination with those other steam giants, the ocean liners.

An early marriage ended in divorce. He left 2 daughters, Sylvia of Bloomington, Indiana, and Lydia of Chevy Chase, Maryland, and a brother, Joseph of Chicago, and a companion, Jay Wilson, Yale 1966 who supplied information for this obituary. He was a resident of Sarasota, Florida at the time of his death.

Ron was memorialized in the New York Times as "a pioneer in undergraduate social work education." Iona College created a Ronald Federico Work Scholarship in his memory.