Boosting Student Scholarships  

Alum commits to funding scholarships for students in educator prep programs 
Rocky Lopes

As an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, Rocky Lopes ’80 kept a busy schedule. He was pursuing a bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and microbiology, and was engaged in several student organizations and committees, including Homecoming, University Sing, Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Student Government Association and the Student Alumni Board (now called the Student Alumni Leadership Council). 
Lopes may not have known it at the time but his involvement on campus and education courses would prepare him for an award-winning career in the field of emergency management. Lopes is recognized for developing and implementing a national, award-winning education and public safety program for the American Red Cross, and creating a “Masters of Disaster” standards-based curriculum used by thousands of educators across the country—both a nod to his time as an elementary school teacher. 
“A lot of my accomplishments can be attributed to the skills, experience, and knowledge I gained at the College of Education as well as serving as a student leader,” he said. “Faculty and staff molded me into an educator, and it’s because of them that my career has had such an impact on the nation’s public safety, health and well-being.” 
It was the recent loss of Lopes’ husband, Chuck Angelucci, that prompted the reflection. Angelucci died from pancreatic cancer in 2021, and when updating his own will, Lopes developed a strong desire to leave an impactful legacy. As a result, he has committed to a $1M planned gift to fund a scholarship for students in the college’s educator preparation programs. 
The gift comes at a time when the country is facing a teacher shortage and colleges of education nationwide are experiencing stagnant or declining enrollments. 
“I was afforded so many opportunities at Maryland, and I’m now in a position to give back to the next generation of students who are preparing to make a positive impact in the classroom and beyond,” he said. “My hope is that this scholarship makes it easier for students to realize their dreams of becoming a teacher.”