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Winter 2020

A Loyalist to the End

Mark V. Nuccio ’83 valued excellence—exemplified, he believed, by both his alma mater and his law firm, Ropes & Gray. Nuccio, who died suddenly in July 2019, remained closely involved with BC Law throughout his life, forging important ties between the school and his firm that benefitted both.

A Double Eagle himself, parent of three Eagles, and relative of many more, Nuccio believed deeply in BC Law’s mission of educational excellence, unqualified professionalism, and social and economic justice for all. “He was very committed to the school,” says his daughter, Catherine Nuccio Pagliarulo. “It propelled his career to a high level and he believed in paying that forward,” which he did as a mentor, volunteer, and philanthropist.

Nuccio began giving back to the Law School in his earliest days as a graduate. The Mary and Vincent Nuccio BC Law Scholarship Fund, which he established in honor of his parents, was particularly important to him. Vincent Nuccio, a 1949 graduate of the University, played a major role in establishing the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, where he remains professor emeritus. “It all started with my grandfather,” says Pagliarulo. “All of his children and many of his grandchildren went to BC. We grew up going to all the BC football and basketball games.”

Supporting deserving law students in need of financial help was, Nuccio believed, a fitting legacy and an important expression of his family’s love for the University.

When he arrived at the firm in 1983, Ropes & Gray had hired only a few BC Law graduates in its history. That was about to change—largely due to Mark Nuccio ’83.

It is not Nuccio’s only legacy at BC Law. When Ropes interviews prospective associates on campus this summer, Nuccio’s impact will be felt there, too. And when those young lawyers begin their careers with the firm, they will be walking a path made smooth by years of Nuccio’s work.

Nuccio joined Ropes upon graduating from BC Law. He would eventually become a partner in asset management practice in Boston and leader of the firm’s bank regulatory practice. When he arrived at the firm in 1983, Ropes had hired only a few BC Law graduates in its history. That was about to change—largely due to Nuccio.

“It was a time that law firms, including Ropes, were expanding nationally and globally, increasing competition for the best law students,” recalls John Montgomery ’75, who retired from Ropes as managing partner in 2013. “Mark almost immediately began recruiting at BC Law and never stopped.”

Ropes is immeasurably stronger today thanks to Nuccio’s tireless work building those connections, says Montgomery. “His very close relationships with the Law School gave him an edge that was very important to our firm. In a world that requires law firms to compete for the best talent, BC Law has been a critically important source of strong, committed, collaborative lawyers who prosper in the culture that Ropes & Gray has developed.”

Montgomery, who joined the firm the year before Nuccio, laughs when he recalls the dearth of BC graduates then: “It was lonely!” The cadre of law alumni who eventually joined the firm formed strong ties. A small group of them, including Nuccio, met frequently for lunch over the decades, a legacy that will live on with a gift to BC Law honoring Nuccio made by the “lunch bunch.”

Nuccio’s determination to forge close ties between his firm and BC Law was typical, says his daughter. “I think his friends and colleagues would say he was the most loyal person they knew. He was simply unwavering in his loyalty to the institutions and the people he cared about.”

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