A West Pittston couple is keeping their son's passion for the theater alive.
As a result of a gift from Carmen and Sandra Maffei, the King's College theater has been named in honor of their late son, George P. Maffei, II, a 1979 graduate of King's, and an endowment has been established in his name to provide a student scholarship.
The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student interested in participating in theatre productions.
The first recipient of the scholarship will be named this fall.
George P. Maffei graduated from King's College with a bachelor's degree in English. He was active in the theatre his junior and senior years, participating in six productions between September 1977 and April 1979. He acted in plays by Aristophanes, Anton Chekov, Shakespeare and William Inge.
He also portrayed the huntsman in a Children's Theatre Production of Cinderella sponsored by the Women's Junior League.
Maffei's largest role was in the spring 1979 production of Georges Feydeau's farce A Flea in Her Ear.
According to published reviews, George Maffei is brilliant as Camille Chandebise, a gentleman with a speech impediment. Young Maffei brilliantly carries off his part under the coaching and direction of J. Gerald Godwin. He does it with class and provided many of the night's laughs.
Maffei followed in his father's law footsteps and went on to earn his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.
While there, he participated in community theatre from 1980 through 1984. He also directed a law clinic for Actors Guild members at Southwestern and was a volunteer for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Maffei relocated to Florida in 1985 and began his own law practice specializing in entertainment law.
He died in an automobile accident in Pompano Beach, Florida, in September 2008.
George's father, Carmen Maffei is a 1956 graduate of King's and a retired attorney. He formerly served as the West Pittston area Magisterial District Judge for 32 years before retiring in 2002. He and his wife, Sandra, reside in West Pittston.
As a student, George was happiest when he was participating in a theatre production, his parents said in a news release. The passion, joy and satisfaction that he derived was obvious. Both of us feel, and at times George agreed, that he was sorry he had not pursued theatre as his vocation. We are extremely happy and proud that other students will have the opportunity to experience the same passion and joy from the theatre that George cherished.
The Rev. John Ryan, C.S.C., president of King's College, applauded Maffei's legacy.
The theatre program has long been a staple of King's College, Ryan said. The theatre attracts students from a wide range of academic majors and their experiences have proven to be a treasured part of their liberal arts education at King's. George Maffei II is a true example of how the theatre program at King's enhances students' experiences and remains a fond memory long after graduation.