— Batavia resident Angelo Branciforte knows the value of education, and serving his country. Mr. Branciforte, a World War II veteran was the first veteran to sign Genesee Community College’s 2010 Veteran’s Signature Book. Mr. Branciforte shared his stories from his time in the US Army’s 271st Combat Engineer Battalion and his years as a local principal in the Batavia School District.
Mr. Branciforte was one of four brothers who served in World War II and is the only surviving brother. Originally from Mount Morris, NY he volunteered for the Army and spent 1943-1946 serving overseas in France, Austria and Germany. While in the Army he was assigned to work in radio and communications and reached the rank of Tech Sergeant. He now has an extensive collection of World War II and Nazi Germany relics from his time on active duty. From Nazi armbands and flags to German money and German soldier pins, his collection is well documented from the help of a local student.
After serving his country Mr. Branciforte returned home to enter the University of Rochester to study Chemical Engineering. He then transferred to SUNY Geneseo where he found his love for teaching. He graduated from Geneseo and began teaching in Niagara Falls. He later settled in Batavia, NY where he served in the Batavia School District for 42 years as the Director of Transportation and as principal of several schools including John Kennedy Elementary where he retired from in 1990.
Mr. Branciforte, always a life-long learner, decided to take a business and marketing course at Genesee Community College to expand his knowledge. He had already received his Master’s degree from the University of Buffalo, but knew that learning doesn’t stop after you’ve completed school.
“I remember that class that I took, it was with Lou Canale,” Angelo reflected. “The class was enjoyable and he was an interesting instructor. I still remember that he taught me the 85% rule. He was a real nice guy.”
Angelo is not the only Branciforte to have taken classes at Genesee Community College. His daughter Elizabeth (Betsy) Seeley was one of the first to graduate from the Nursing program at Genesee in 1971 and his son James (Jamie) graduated with a Human Services degree in 1980. He also has multiple grandchildren who have attended or graduated from Genesee including, Melissa Thompson ‘06, Tricia Wolff ‘02, Shanna Branciforte, Michelle Branciforte and Daniel Branciforte ‘04.
Mr. Branciforte now reflects on the past and what Veteran’s Day means today, versus what it meant several years ago.
“Veteran’s Day was always just another day to me. Today it is a day of remembrance and is so meaningful,” Mr. Branciforte said. “People now recognize what we did for our country. They stop us and thank us for serving, we had never had that recognition before.”
Genesee Community College’s Foundation offers a Veteran’s Scholarship award for returning veterans and is intended to augment federal benefits to help veterans obtain vital career training at the College. For further information or to donate please contact the Foundation Office at 345-6809 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Scholarship applications can be found online at www.genesee.edu/financial/scholarships/
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Editor’s Note: A photograph of Angelo Branciforte signing GCC’s Veteran’s Signature Book is available at http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/Angelo_Branciforte.jpg