Ted Amoruso’s homecoming


Picture Courtesy of Ted Amoruso  

After 45 years, Ted Amoruso is more than thrilled to return to Iona University.  

Niomi Nunez, Features & Lifestyle Editor

College students often wonder if all of this—the expenses, the distance away from home, the exhaustion, etc.— is worth it. Iona University alumnus Ted Amoruso has returned to Iona, preaching the significance of the college experience.  

“I sit out here on the benches, and I watch the students go by and I say to myself ‘I wonder how many of them realize this is the best time of their lives?’” Amoruso said.  

Amoruso grew up in Mount Vernon, New York as a shy only-child. He graduated from Iona University, then Iona College, in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and theatre. In his years spent at the institution, Amoruso became vice-president of the Iona players club and directed two productions. Committed to the theatre, Amoruso grew a beard for one of his roles. Amoruso refers to those years as the time of his life; he attributes his career and one-of-a-kind character to his time as an Iona player 

“I was basically a shy person, and doing the theatre helped me get comfortable being in front of people and a class,” Amoruso said.  

His passion for theatre transitioned into his love for teaching. After graduating from Iona University, he began his career in education; he taught 8th grade and eventually moved to post-secondary education at the College of Westchester. There he worked as both a professor and the director of Financial Aid services for 16 and a half years.  

Amoruso described his experience teaching as an extended performance outside of the theatre. 

“I did six/seven shows a day for the most difficult audiences I’ve ever had,” Amoruso said. “To be a good teacher today you got to be an entertainer! I taught creative writing at the college of Westchester, the first day I used to jump up on top of my desk and I would threaten to jump… unless I got a good topic sentence.”  

He left quite the impression on students; after all these years, students are still in contact with Amoruso out of the great respect they have for him.  

“After 25 years they still call me Mr. A.,” Amoruso said.  

Outside of the theater and classroom, Amoruso has developed a habit of meeting the people he admires most: celebrities. He has met both Jennifer Hudson and Serena Williams on several occasions; Amoruso was even invited to Jennifer Hudson’s 30th birthday party. He said that without his experience in theater he would be too starstruck to meet his idols. Having overcome his shyness during his time as an Iona player has helped significantly in all aspects of life both personal and professional.  

Now Amoruso works at Iona University’s bookstore and being back on campus has brought up some bittersweet emotions for him.  

“I’m having such fun; I wish I could find any empty dorm room and do an over-night here…because it’s changed so much” Amoruso said.  

When asked what advice he would give to students Amoruso responded saying, “Enjoy the time here, because it’s the best time of your life;” and his advice for the players is “Be modest!” 

Amoruso keeps a scrapbook of his Iona memories and emphasizes the importance of the college experience.  

“It’s part of your life; it’s part of your history” Amoruso said.  

He encourages all Iona students, both past and present, to stop by the bookstore to say hi. If you choose to do so, you are in for a treat.