Born on April 22, 1912 in Clarksburg, West Virginia, Virgil C. Crisafulli spent his early years in Sicily and Wadsworth, Ohio. He graduated from Wadsworth High School in 1932. In 1938, he married Martha Eva Bair. Crisafulli earned his undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University. Before joining the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant during World War II, Crisafulli served as an economist with the Office of Price Administration and War Labor Board. During the war, he took part in several major combat operations while serving on the USS Ommaney Bay. Honorably discharged in 1946, Crisafulli joined the founding faculty at Utica College that same year. He worked at Utica College for 33 years as a professor of economics, retiring in 1978 as professor emeritus. During his tenure at Utica College, Crisafulli served on the Wage Stabilization Board during the Korean Conflict. From 1962 to 1964, he ran for Congress and served as Robert F. Kennedy’s Oneida County campaign coordinator. In 1967, Crisafulli served as a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention. Throughout his academic career and into retirement, Crisafulli actively continued teaching and researching. He authored several books, including A Directory of Business and Industry in the Upper Mohawk Valley, An Economic Analysis of the Rome-Utica Area, and a History of Utica College.
Scope of Collection
The Virgil Crisafulli Collection contains personal letters and correspondence involving Virgil and Martha Crisafulli, Utica College faculty, and family friends, as well as material relating to Virgil Crisafulli’s awards, distinctions, and other memorabilia surrounding his life and time as a UC faculty member. Included are personal letters between Virgil Crisafulli and his wife Martha Eva Bair, Martha and her sister Maddie Bair, and Martha and Pauline “Polly” Walsh (Sondergelt). Other figures mentioned in these letters include Eda Benton, Mrs. D. E. Whitehead, and Neil Chamberlain, as well as letters, documents, memorandums, pamphlets, programs, assorted notes, and official correspondence regarding Crisafulli’s time at Utica College. Related subjects include official appointment letters and letters of recommendation at UC, material related to UC’s Fiftieth Anniversary, a number of biographical materials detailing Crisafulli’s career, information regarding former UC faculty and staff, and the UC chapter of American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The collection also contains papers, letters, memorandums, pamphlets, photographs, programs, and other documentary material regarding the development, institution and advancement of Utica College’s Crisafulli Fund, Crisafulli’s career and involvement in statewide economic studies, and New York State’s Constitutional Conventions.