Monday, August 15, 2022

My Turn: School Days With Greg Malfitano

Here’s to one man who has helped Lynn University grow—every step of the way.

Greg Malfitano is celebrating his 47th year at Boca Raton’s energetic and contemporary Lynn University. During that time Malfitano has grown to be the institution’s Senior Vice President for Development and Administration. Not that titles matter; the bottom line is performance and loyalty. And he has jumped those hurdles time after time in helping bring Lynn to nationwide recognition as a fine liberal arts university with a winning sports program, innovative academic approaches and a top-ranked conservatory of music under the leadership of Dr. Jon Robertson.

At 67, Malfitano’s tan face is embroidered by a tinge of graying hair at his temples. He is not a back-slapper-and-then-move-on kind of guy—the guy who trolls the room shaking hands at a cocktail party while looking for his next strike.

He has run all of Lynn’s non-academic operations and has been the right hand of the school’s founder, Dr. Donald Ross and his successor, Dr. Kevin Ross. As Stephen Snyder, Lynn’s Vice Chairman of the Board, says, “In addition to his impressive accomplishments at Lynn, Greg is always there for everyone. He is a special human being.”

And special he is. He has pulled off many events without much fanfare. The one I remember most is the October 22, 2012 presidential debate between then-President Barack Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney. The university campus that week was transformed into a city of tents, electrical wires, kitchens, terminals connected to the internet and phone towers for an international press chomping at the bit to file their stories.

To interface with local, state and federal officials on security alone is complicated, demanding and nerve-wracking. The Feds led the way, and everyone followed their lead. That alone relieved some of the pressure-cooker environment, but the restrictions placed on the venue were as onerous as you’d suspect—and all of that fell to Greg. In fact, if he wasn’t a boozer before the great debate of October 2012, I can’t imagine that when it was all over, and the campus back to normal, he didn’t sit down and enjoy a “Shirley Temple.” Or 12.

Loyalty is the operative word with Greg, a trait that is neither inherited nor taught. It’s living the golden rule, and never letting anyone down for whom you respect and care. It means absolute candor, no matter if you agree or disagree with him or her. It is giving them your best and demanding that from them.

My wife Margaret Mary and I have known Greg and Barbara Malfitano since we came to Boca Raton in 1981. Greg was head of operations at what was then The College of Boca Raton, the go-to man at the school for then President Don Ross who has been succeeded by his son, Kevin Ross. Ms. Malfitano taught our son, David, who was an eighth grader at The Potomac School, the College’s lower school, before it discontinued operations in the late 1980s.

When his tenure ends at Lynn, my feeling is that this quiet and proud man will not be looking for a gold watch or a plaque or any kind of award marking his longevity. He will know what he has done, and he will think he was just doing his job. Maybe being one of the rocks upon which Lynn was built will be enough.

That simply is Greg Malfitano.

This story is from our September/October 2019 issue of Boca magazine. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine.

John Shuff
John Shuff is the publisher of Boca magazine.

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