Friends and colleagues remembered an educator Wednesday who shook up the city school system under Mayor Ed Koch.
They gathered at St. Francis College to honor Frank Macchiarola, who died on Tuesday after an extended illness.
He served as the city's schools chancellor from 1978 to 1983 and stayed involved in city government long after his tenure.
Macchiarola was also well regarded by colleagues at St. Francis, where he served as president for 16 years.
"Frank had an amazing capacity to be both a teacher and a leader in whatever he did," said Assemblywoman Joan Millman. "Whatever assignment anybody gave him, he excelled. And when he came here to St. Francis, he had a real vision for this school."
"He was like a father for all of us," said Peter Felvegi, who worked with Macchiarola. "He would be very visible at all times at St. Francis College. He would know many, many students by first name."
A devout Roman Catholic, Macchiarola was recently installed into the Holy Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict XVI.
Macchiarola was 71 years old.