“I used to send letters out at the end of the first semester saying, ‘You’re
doing well’ or ‘You could be doing better.’ I’d keep after the academics,” Pergolin, a
resident of Warminster, Pa., said. “When you are on campus for the first time, you’re
away from home, you don’t have mom or dad there telling you what to do… you
have to really manage your time. I was co-chair for the scholarship committee at St.
Joe’s for many years, and anytime a student would get into academic difficulty, 9 out
of 10 times it was the first semester. We would stress time management, and I think
that’s reflected in the grade point averages that our caddies achieved.”
“Overall, he was very caring about the kids,” Bob Caucci, the Trust’s Director
of Operations from 2000-08, said. “You could tell he was genuine and had strong
feelings toward all of the Caddie-Scholars’ best interest.”
The Trust didn’t originally hold a spot on Pergolin’s professional timeline. His
wife Peg worked as a medical secretary in Junkin’s office. Keenly aware of his back-
ground, Junkin, who served as the Trust’s chairman at the time, asked Pergolin to
transport his passion to Platt.
“I knew of his interest in education and financial aid. He was the perfect fit,”
Junkin said. “He was a teacher and a coach. He was very familiar with working with
Pergolin, a Philadelphia, Pa. native, never needed a classroom to feel like a teacher.
He served as head coach of the men’s basketball team at Cardinal Dougherty for three
years, compiling a superb 53-14 record. In 1964, Pergolin guided the squad to a remark-
able 24-game winning streak and Catholic League title.
“We were a tough team,” Pergolin said. “A number of our players on that team
are very successful, and that makes you feel good. Any team I coached, practice was
a classroom. You worked hard in there. You didn’t waste time; you just tried to ac-
complish what you wanted to do. Kids took it seriously. They worked together, and
that was important.”
One of the spectators during Pergolin’s coaching tenure was Joe Chiarantona,
a North Hills Country Club member. He met Pergolin thru his brother Rich, who
managed the team. The two became further acquainted at St. Joe’s when Chiarantona
served as president of the school’s boosters for basketball. To top off the parallelism
here, Chiarantona is a Caddie-Scholar and former Trustee (1990-2001). He holds
great reverence for Pergolin.
“He’s made a lasting imprint on
the lives of a bunch of kids.
For that, we will be eternally
grateful to him.”
“He definitely felt like a grandfatherly figure who taught me a lot personally
about the financial aid industry and college education process,” Caucci said. “Of all
the people I ever met, he was one of the sweetest and most sincere.”
“He’s made a lasting imprint on the lives of a bunch of kids. For that, we
will be eternally grateful to him,” Junkin added. “It is impossible to underestimate
Jack’s value and accomplishments to the Trust. He leaves behind a very