In October, Rensselaer Union staff and students gathered to thank student Joseph Perchiacca for his exceptional assistance over the years. Perchiacca arrived at Rensselaer as a freshman in 2003 and this fall he was awarded his Ph.D. in chemical and biological engineering.
Over the near decade he has been on campus, Perchiacca (affectionately referred to as “Joe P.” by staff and students) made an outstanding impact on Rensselaer Union, according to Cameron McLean, director of student activities. While an undergraduate student, he served as president of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Knights of Columbus, and UPAC Cinema, and he served as a member of numerous other clubs and organizations.
Upon transitioning to graduate student status, he continued as an influential and active member of clubs and organizations. He also served the Union as building supervisor (six years), building manager (two years), summer Games Room staff (five years), and games room equipment manager (four years).
“Joe P. was constantly the first to offer his help and services to the Rensselaer Union as it underwent changes, always offering to help in any way possible and filling in whenever necessary,” McLean said. “In recent years, it has not been uncommon to hear a question asked and then answered with, ‘We should ask Joe P.’”
At the celebration, students and staff in attendance wore baseball caps backward—a Joe P. fashion staple—and praised his devotion to the Union and student life in general. He was presented a key to the Rensselaer Union, an engraved pocket watch, and a Rensselaer Adirondack chair from the Bookstore.
Joe Cassidy, director of Rensselaer Union, who paid tribute to Perciacca at the event, said, “The service that Joe Perchiacca has provided as a student leader over his nine-year tenure at RPI is remarkable, but what is more noteworthy is Joe’s humble nature. Joe will definitely be missed around the Rensselaer Union. However, despite the fact that Joe is moving on, we know we can still give a quick call to ‘Dr. Joe P.’ and he will respond.”