By Joshua Burd
Two students at Whippany Park High School will split a $10,000 scholarship created to honor a former mayor of Hanover Township, with support from locally based JMF Properties.
According to the developer, graduating seniors Alyssa Pavone and Nilayan Lahiri both excelled in math and science throughout their high school career and plan to study engineering in college. They will attend Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, respectively, with the help of the second annual Saverio “Sal” Iannaccone Scholarship for Excellence in Math and Science.
“The legacy of longtime Mayor Saverio Iannaccone, a friend and mentor, his many accomplishments, his leadership and compassion for Hanover lives on through this generous and worthy engineering scholarship from JMF Properties and Joseph Forgione, whose career and love of community began right here in Hanover,” Township Committeeman Ron Francioli said. “Congratulations to our recipients.”
Francioli, also a former mayor, presented the award on June 2 at the Whippany Park High School Senior Awards Program. In announcing the scholarship, JMF noted that Iannaccone served Hanover for more than 55 years, including 17 as the township’s mayor and a total of 35 on the township committee.
Iannaccone was also a member of the planning board and environmental commission, on which he continued to serve on until his death in 2020 at age 97. Additionally, he was a U.S. Marine during World War II and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Friends of Iannaccone, who worked for Westinghouse Electric Corp. as an electrical engineer for 40 years, established the annual scholarship in 2021 with the assistance of the faculty and staff at Whippany Park High School.
“Mayor Iannaccone was a great man and an excellent leader for Hanover Township, whose enthusiasm for making the community a better place was infectious,” said Forgione, the founder and principal of Whippany-based JMF Properties, who is also a licensed engineer. “His passionate leadership and support for local charities and nonprofit groups inspired countless other individuals to step up and support those very same organizations. He was a champion for the people of Hanover Township, and I know he would be proud of the two future engineering students we are honoring with this year’s scholarship.”
Forgione also noted that Iannaccone’s involvement inspired his own support of engineering education in New Jersey, including the establishment of the Forgione Family Engineering Center at Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey. What’s more, it inspired Forgione’s support of local organizations, such as the construction of group homes for ARC/Morris County chapter and fundraising for Employment Horizons Corp, a Hanover-based organization that provides job training and placement services to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment in the greater Morris County area.
Iannaccone was a staunch supporter of both organizations.