In Memoriam: South Suburban College mourns “unparalleled” leader Frank M. Zuccarelli

SOUTH HOLLAND, IL – South Suburban College (SSC) announces the passing of longtime Board Chairman Frank M. Zuccarelli on January 3, 2022 at the age of 70.

“All of us at South Suburban College are profoundly saddened by the loss of our beloved leader Frank M. Zuccarelli,” said Dr. Lynette Stokes, SSC President. “On behalf of the college and our Board of Trustees, I extend our deepest condolences to his family and countless friends throughout our community.”

Zuccarelli, a South Holland resident, has served as a member of the South Suburban College Board of Trustees since 1978. In 2014, he received a service award from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) recognizing his 35 years of service as a community college trustee. During his tenure, Zuccarelli witnessed SSC and the Illinois community college system grow from temporary buildings into the third largest community college system in the United States. He is only the fifth person out of more than 2,200 current and former trustees to reach this level of success in the entire state of Illinois.

“Chairman Zuccarelli left an indelible mark on both an institution and a community from his time as SSC Student Trustee through his 43-year tenure of service to our College Board,” Stokes added. “Frank’s tremendous intellect and leadership were instrumental in advancing SSC’s student-centered mission, while creating a collaborative atmosphere among faculty, administration and staff for over four decades. He was a champion for equity and inclusion and breaking down barriers to higher education. His compassion for students and passion for his college were unparalleled.”  

Zuccarelli enrolled at SSC–then Thornton Community College–in 1974 after he completed his enlistment in the United States Air Force where he served as a medic. Zuccarelli earned an Associate of Science Degree in 1976 and an Associate of Arts Degree in 1978 from SSC. He was elected to the unpaid post on the Board of Trustees in 1978, and was chosen by his peers to be the Chairman of the Board in 1987, a position he maintained ever since. Zuccarelli also served as Thornton Township Supervisor since 1993, among other public service roles.

Stokes concluded, “Frank Zuccarelli positively impacted the lives of thousands of people and his legacy will be felt in the halls of South Suburban College for many, many years to come. He will be dearly missed.”

Details regarding arrangements will be made available in the coming days.

Photo of Frank M. Zuccarelli addresses graduates
PICTURED – South Suburban College Board of Trustees Chairman Frank M. Zuccarelli addresses graduates at a commencement ceremony.