The longtime college president and administrator passed away on April 4

BROCKTON, Mass (April 8, 2024) Massasoit Community College President Ray DiPasquale passed away on April 4, 2024, with his family at his side, after a brief but valiant fight against cancer. He was 74. A longtime higher education leader with roots and ties across the Northeast, Ray was regarded by peers, colleagues, and friends as a thoughtful, determined leader with a passion for helping students find success in their education and future careers, and who championed the importance of building meaningful relationships.

President Ray DiPasquale at Massasoit’s 55th Commencement in May 2022.

President DiPasquale was appointed as Massasoit’s seventh president in August 2021. During his tenure at Massasoit, he led the College through the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and worked to strengthen relationships at all levels of the institution, including externally with community partners and internally with faculty, staff, and students. He led the College with compassion and kindness and was a staunch advocate for Massasoit.

“Ray was the embodiment of a passionate, caring leader who sought out leadership opportunities not for his own benefit, but for the benefit of others, namely people looking to change their lives through education. I am honored to have had the chance to work with him,” said Tom Carroll, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Massasoit Community College. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Ray’s family as they navigate life without him. His untimely passing has deeply shaken the Massasoit community, but we are strengthened by his desire for everyone at Massasoit to continue to advance the mission of the College by focusing on the work we have ahead.”

Among the projects President DiPasquale oversaw at Massasoit were the College’s Evening of Champions Fundraiser; the 2024-2029 Strategic Plan; and a $50 million Transformation Through Renovation project that will bring state-of-the-art science and healthcare classrooms and labs across two buildings the College’s Brockton Campus.

President DiPasquale arrived at Massasoit with a track record of success as a college president and administrator dating back to 1978. Before joining Massasoit, he was the President of Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh, NY from 2017-2021. At Clinton, he helped stabilize the school’s finances and oversaw $28 million in capital projects, including the construction and opening of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing, a high-tech regional hub for manufacturing education.

Massasoit Community College President Ray DiPasquale with Marvelous Marvin Hagler Scholarship recipient Orlando Alves at the 2023 Evening of Champions Fundraiser.
President Ray DiPasquale with Marvelous Marvin Hagler Scholarship recipient Orlando Alves at the 2023 Evening of Champions Fundraiser.

Previously, DiPasquale served as the fourth President of the Community College of Rhode Island – New England’s largest community college – for 10 years. Upon his appointment first as Interim President and then the full-time role, he was tasked with helping CCRI overcome a myriad of challenges including stagnant enrollment and a budget deficit. While president, CCRI enrolled a near-record-setting number of students, was re-accredited, and grew its academic offerings. He concurrently served as the Commissioner of Higher Education in Rhode Island from 2010 through 2013.

“President DiPasquale showcased the value of community college and went to great lengths to ensure that all students had a pathway to their dreams. Among many important contributions, President DiPasquale leaves behind a legacy of deep belief in the potential of every individual student. The impact of his work was and will continue to be felt far beyond the Massasoit community. Massachusetts was lucky to have President DiPasquale.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family, as well as the Massasoit community,” said Education Secretary Dr. Patrick Tutwiler.

“Higher education has lost a dedicated leader,” said Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Noe Ortega. “President DiPasquale’s leadership will leave a lasting impact on the institutions and students he served. I offer my condolences to his family, friends and to the entire Massasoit community. I am hopeful that all of us who knew President DiPasquale can find strength and inspiration by reflecting on his legacy and by advancing a strong future for Massasoit, a college about which he cared deeply.”

Massasoit Community College President Ray DiPasquale (center), then an administrator at Springfield Technical Community College, with then STCC President Dr. Andrew M. Scibelli (left) and then-Governor Michael Dukakis (right) in 1985. Photo credit: Don Treeger.
President Ray DiPasquale (center), then an administrator at Springfield Technical Community College, with then STCC President Dr. Andrew M. Scibelli (left) and then-Governor Michael Dukakis (right) in 1985. Photo credit: Don Treeger.

In the decades before becoming a highly respected community college president, President DiPasquale held a number of administrative posts across a wide range of areas including athletics; student life; public relations and advancement; and admissions and enrollment. His career included time at Middlesex Community College and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) in Massachusetts as well as at SUNY Brockport.

In addition to his professional pursuits, President DiPasquale served in volunteer roles in each of the communities he called home, often finding himself serving on the boards of area nonprofits, local and state commissions, and chambers of commerce. He could never stress enough the importance of civic engagement, and he himself served as an elected official while working at STCC, including stints on the Springfield School Committee, City Council, and as the Chair of the Hampden County Commission. He narrowly lost the Springfield mayoral election in 1991.

President DiPasquale was awarded a number of honors during his life, including an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters bestowed by the New England Institute of Technology. He was most proud of the scholarships established in his honor at STCC, SUNY Brockport, CCRI, and Clinton Community College.

Massasoit Community College President Ray DiPasquale speaking at the Inaugural Women's Leadership Initiative breakfast in 2023.
President Ray DiPasquale speaking at the Inaugural Women’s Leadership Initiative breakfast in 2023. Photo credit: Office of Governor Maura Healey.

President DiPasquale often spoke of his experience losing his father at a young age and never planned to attend College. A star high school athlete, he was encouraged by family to pursue an athletic scholarship at Arkansas Tech University where he played football and earned a Bachelor of Science in 1971.

His first job after college was an appointment as Director of Recreation and Parks in Gorham, New Hampshire. In 1977, he earned a Master of Science from Northeastern University before embarking upon a higher education career that spanned 45 years.

At the request of President DiPasquale’s family, funeral services will be private. Massasoit will host a celebration of President DiPasquale’s life on its Brockton Campus at a later date.