Orange Alert

Syracuse University Alumnus Recognized for Public School Advocacy

Todd Flaherty ’70 receives Paul W. Crowley Award for work with Rhode Island schools

June 24, 2014, by Laura Bulman

Todd Flaherty '70
Todd Flaherty '70
Todd Flaherty ’70—known for his coaching success on the field—has not lost any of his moxy off the field. In March, the former Syracuse University football player earned the Paul W. Crowley Award from the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association for his work with state public schools.

The award is named for the late Rhode Island representative who demonstrated a similar commitment to public education.

As a Crowley awardee, Flaherty will select a deserving senior, who is graduating from a Rhode Island public high school and planning a career in education, to receive a $1,000 scholarship.

At Syracuse University, Flaherty earned a B.A. in history from The College of Arts and Sciences and lettered in football. (His son, Jake ’09, followed in his father’s footsteps, playing middle linebacker and serving as team captain.) Flaherty’s interest in public education led to graduate degrees from Alfred and Boston universities and then to key appointments in Rhode Island, including deputy commissioner of education, president of the School Superintendents’ Association, and assistant superintendent of Coventry Public Schools.

Flaherty also spent time in Washington, D.C., as a senior policy adviser for the National High School Center and as deputy-in-residence for The Council of Chief State School Officers.

Since 2009, Flaherty has served as president and CEO of The College Crusade of Rhode Island, the state’s largest college readiness-access program that serves some of its poorest urban communities. The College Crusade has awarded more than $27.8 million in college scholarships to more than 3,600 high school graduates since 2001.

In 2012, Syracuse University Athletics recognized Flaherty as a football LetterWinner of Distinction for his 40 years of public and community service.

He remains an active part of the campus community and has considered his time at Syracuse University as among the most important of his life.

“I was privileged, as a young man, to have access to a quality education, as well as excellent mentors in the form of Syracuse University faculty and coaches,” says Flaherty, whom The Boston Globe named Division I Massachusetts Football Coach of the Year in 1978.  “Without these influences in my life, I would not be where I am today. Being at Syracuse University made me aware of the importance of education and of the supportive resources in a young person’s life. These are things that many young people in my community lack, and they are resources I want to provide them.”

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