The Ronald J. Volpe Athletic Center is named for Hood’s 10th president.
In the summer of 2001, Ronald J. Volpe was appointed as the College’s 10th president. Prior to his appointment, he held numerous positions at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, including professor of management, chair of the department of business and economics, dean of the graduate school of administration, co-director of the center for the advancement of the study of ethics, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, provost and interim president.
Before joining Capital, he held a number of positions at his alma mater, Gannon University in Pennsylvania, including serving as a tenured faculty member in business, director of the Small Business Institute, director of the Small Business Development Center, director of the MBA program, dean of admission and dean of the Dahlkemper School of Business.
Born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, he earned his bachelor's degree in business administration at Gannon University, a master of business administration at Xavier University, his doctoral degree in higher educational administration at the University of Pittsburgh and completed post-doctoral studies in academic leadership at Carnegie Mellon University. While pursuing his doctorate, he also worked in the Institute for Higher Education at the University of Pittsburgh.
In addition to his more than 43 years of experience in higher education, President Volpe has served as a labor arbitrator; consultant to a number of businesses, governmental and higher education institutions; and has taught for the American Institute of Banking. His teaching and research areas are in marketing, leadership and business ethics, and he has made presentations and directed many professional seminars and workshops in these areas.
During his tenure as president, the College transitioned to co-education, increased its enrollment more than 50 percent, established new academic and athletic programs, made numerous campus improvements and strengthened its financial health.
Ron Volpe was a tireless fan of athletics, especially Division III college athletics, the Hood College Blazers and the concept of the scholar-athlete. But most importantly, he understood the big picture and how athletics fits into higher education—that it’s not just about the game: “Hood College is committed to a philosophy that values athletics as an important part of one’s overall education and that excellence in athletics and academics is not mutually exclusive,” wrote President Volpe in the Winter 2004-05 Hood Magazine.
By the fall of 2014, there wasn’t a field, court, playing surface or space on Hood’s campus that hadn’t in some way been replaced or improved under Ron Volpe’s leadership, including the athletic complex, the crown jewel of the Hood campus completed in the fall of 2011 and home of the president’s favorite sport, basketball. His vision had always included a multipurpose center for recreation, athletics, academic programs and campus events.
To honor Ron for his leadership in athletics at Hood, for his support of the student-athlete and for knowing and advocating athletics as part of the bigger picture in higher education, the board of trustees voted to name the athletic center in his honor. A naming ceremony was held March 27, 2015.