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Benedictine College honored the Paolucci family as the 2023 Benedictine College Family of the Year as part of this year’s Family Weekend celebration. The family was recognized on O’Malley Field at Wilcox Stadium during halftime of the home football game versus Culver-Stockton College on September 23, 2023.
Steven and Madeleine Paolucci raised a large family in Denver, Colorado. Seven of their eight children have graduated from or are currently attending Benedictine College and they have a host of other relatives who have attended Benedictine, including Steven’s father, Dominic N. Paolucci, who graduated in 1959. Counting all the aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws, there are currently 23 Benedictine alumni in the family!
“My father was here many, many years ago and has been a part of the Atchison community forever, and through a series of coincidences and the desire to be in a community where faith is an example and the academics are strong is where it started, but it’s been an amazing experience for all of our children over the years and the experience just grew as we went along,” said Steven Paolucci about why he and his wife sent their children to Benedictine College. “It’s a blessing to be here and truly an honor to be named Family of the Year.”
Four of Steven and Madeleine’s children married fellow Ravens. They are Mark Paolucci ’12 and his wife Julia Dick Paolucci ’13; Regina Paolucci Marsh ’14 and her husband, Andrew Marsh ’12; Monica Paolucci Leathers ’17 and her husband, Jacob Leathers ’17; and Francis Paolucci ’19 and his wife Kathryn Roberts Paolucci ’18. Another son, Dominic, graduated in 2010, and two children are still current students. A son, Anthony, is a junior, and a daughter, Chiara, is a new freshman at Benedictine. Joseph, the only child who did not attend Benedictine, is attending seminary.
“We wanted the kids to be at a college where they wouldn’t lose the foundation of faith that their parents had set for them and we knew that Benedictine was going to be an environment that would help them thrive,” said Madeleine Paolucci. “And the other gift that Benedictine gave us that we didn’t realize when the first couple started is spouses. The influence and the trajectory that that has had on the happiness in their marriages and in our lives has been a huge, huge blessing. Faithful kids raising faithful grandchildren. We’re very grateful.”
Other relatives include notable family names in Atchison like Begley, Hegarty, Lambert, Mendoza, and Weber. And, of course, the name is intertwined with an Atchison landmark familiar to Benedictine students, faculty and staff – Paolucci’s Restaurant, Deli & Lounge. The historic dining establishment, owned by the Begley family, cousins of the Paoluccis, has been in operation for 40 years in the Old Traveler’s Hotel building on 3rd St. The family’s business activity in Atchison dates to 1894 when brothers Felix and Dominic Paolucci came to Atchison from Italy and opened a grocery store.