Popular RMU Groundskeeper Became University President for a Day

John Tucci used his position to sign a Declaration of Kindness at Robert Morris.


While the journey from groundskeeper to university president may seem unlikely, one Pittsburgh college made that a reality.

Robert Morris University appointed groundskeeper John Tucci as president for a day on Thursday, making the longtime employee the face of the campus and giving President Chris Howard a day off. Tucci’s first order in office was a Declaration of Kindness, followed up by pizza with students and a meeting with the hockey team.

In October, Robert Morris told faculty, staff, students and alumni that if they could get 1,001 donors in a single day, that the popular groundskeeper could be president for a day — 1,159 people rose to the challenge.


A well-known member of the Moon Township community, Tucci has been an employee at RMU for over 25 years.

Known for signing the national anthem before local sports events, his passion has earned him a reputation of kindness across the communities where he performs and does service. 

“There’s so many ways that everybody can help anyone and whether you’re doing that with the church or with the schools, there’s so many ways to help,”  Tucci told the Sewickley Herald in 2018.

Categories: The 412