Paul Oreffice (Alpha-Zeta) has lived the American dream. Rising from immigrant to CEO of Dow Chemical, he worked his way to the top with hard work and strong family values. Now retired, Oreffice has written a book, "Only in America: From Immigrant to CEO," about his life.
Frater and Former Dow Chemical CEO Writes Inspiring Story
The book, published by Stroud & Hall, has won widespread praise from notable politicians and businessmen such as Vice President Cheney, the 38th US President Gerald Ford, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, retired General Electric CEO Jack Welch and former Major League Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth.
Frater Oreffice's family obtained an exit visa and passage on the last ship to leave Italy, one week before it entered World War II. Once in America, his father started making pharmaceutical grade caster oil that could no longer be imported because of the war. It was this work ethic that was instilled in Frater Paul that brought him to Purdue University and the Alpha-Zeta Chapter. Though he could only speak about 50 words when he left for West Lafayette, Indiana, he spent hours reading the English dictionary and other textbooks to get a grip on the language.
Frater Oreffice credits most of his success to Italy's Benito Mussolini, dictator during World War II.
"If it had not been for Mussolini and his nefarious ways, I probably would not have left Italy," said Oreffice. "Would I have done as well there as here? I don't really think so."
Frater Paul has been a regular donor to the Teke Educational Foundation and was selected as Teke Alumnus of the Year in 1985.
Adapted from Human Events Online, Amazon.com.