For many of our PhD alumni, the mentorship they receive at CWRU helps shape the trajectory of their careers. That was the case for Gene Boccialetti (GRS ‘82, organizational behavior)—and it’s what inspired his recent pledge to make a $500,000 bequest gift to the Don M. Wolfe Endowed Scholarship Fund at Weatherhead School of Management. This gift will help future PhD students in organizational behavior.
“Weatherhead’s PhD in organizational behavior program is a premier doctoral education program in our field,” said Diana Bilimoria, chair of organizational behavior and the KeyBank Professor at Weatherhead School. “The impact of Gene’s gift will strengthen the legacy of our program and benefit doctoral students for many years to come.”
After graduating with his PhD in 1982, Boccialetti had an illustrious career in academia and went on to consult at several corporations, including Pfizer. After 12 years of research, he published a book entitled It Takes Two, a poignant writing motivated by his interest in the Holocaust and how people make choices related to authority. He retired in 2009, after publishing this book and dealing with health issues. As part of his road to recovery, he took up distance bicycling to keep in shape. He rides 4,000 to 5,000 miles a year.
Boccialetti came from an Italian immigrant family and was a first-generation college student. He graduated from college in 1969 and was drafted by the Army to serve in Vietnam, but a training injury led to his Honorable Discharge. He worked several years doing unique project work in newly created roles, which led to his interest in organizational behavior. He worked for Yale Medical School for several years and then was referred to Weatherhead to apply for the PhD program, where he was admitted after being on a wait list. The late Professor Don Wolfe was a major influence in Boccialetti’s career and a lifelong mentor.
Boccialetti said he has lived a simple life and now resides in New York City. He feels blessed to have lived such a rich life and wanted to give back through his estate to Weatherhead, specifically to the Don Wolfe endowed scholarship, in gratitude for all Wolfe did to help shape his career and to pay it forward to future PhD students.
“It is with great gratitude that I extend my thanks to Gene for his generous gift that will indeed represent a significant milestone in the evolution of our doctoral education in organizational behavior, and will also make a positive difference in the professional trajectory of our future PhD students,” said Manoj Malhotra, dean of the Weatherhead School of Management.