Frank Vellaccio has worked at Holy Cross since 1974, when he was hired as an assistant professor of chemistry. That same year, he earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A native of West Haven, Conn., Vellaccio earned a bachelor of science degree from Fordham University where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. His doctoral thesis, "Synthesis and Study of New Reagents with Potential Use in Peptide Synthesis," began his career as an academic chemist in the area of peptide synthesis.
In addition to articles in scientific journals, Vellaccio published a textbook, Organic Chemistry, in 1980. Written with D.S. Kemp, the book became a standard text in many colleges and universities throughout the country, and has been translated into Japanese, Italian, and Spanish.
After serving on a number of the College’s major committees, Vellaccio moved into an administrative position in 1986, becoming dean of the College. From this office, he oversaw faculty, academic, and curricular policy. The following year, he became the College’s academic vice president. In January 1996, Fr. Reedy named him the College’s first provost, with dual responsibilities for both academic affairs and college development. He was appointed Acting President during the summer of 1998 and served the College in that capacity until the summer of 2000.
"I can truly say that, outside of my family, there is nothing that I love more than Holy Cross. It is a marvelous gift to be able to say this about the place where you work," wrote Vellaccio in the January/February 1998 issue of Holy Cross Magazine.
Vellaccio lives in Worcester with his wife, Cathy. They have four children, including Jessica Connolly '97, Jacob '07 and Adia '14.
Read "Financial Aid: An Act of Love," an essay by Frank Vellaccio.