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Student Philanthropy Council Recognizes Longtime University Benefactors
University of New Haven Board of Governors member and former chair Sam Bergami '85 EMBA, '02 Hon. and Lois Bergami have supported the University of New Haven for decades, making an impact on the lives of generations of students.
October 4, 2019
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Michael Capasso '20 aspires to make the world a better place. Vice president of the University's Student Philanthropy Council, he and his fellow council members endeavor to show students why giving back is so important.
The group, which educates the student body on the impact of philanthropy and promotes a student tradition of annual giving, recently recognized Sam Bergami '85 EMBA, '02 Hon. and Lois Bergami for their transformative contributions to the University.
"Hundreds of University students have been impacted in one way or another by these amazingly generous people," said Capasso, a music major. "Their support makes me realize that they believe in us, which allows us to believe in ourselves."
"Lois and I are grateful to the Student Philanthropy Council for this recognition. We encourage the students on the Council to keep spreading the spirit of giving, not only on our campus, but throughout their lives."Sam Bergami '85 EMBA, '02 Hon.
Supporters of the College of Business, the University's campus in Orange, Conn. bears their name. The have also supported the Chargers Marching Band, of which Capasso is a member, and WNHU, the University's award-winning radio station, which bears Lois Bergami's name.
Perhaps the most visible testament of the Bergamis' support is the development of the University's Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation. Scheduled to open in early 2020, the state-of-the-art, 40,000-square-foot facility will feature a makerspace, science classrooms, communication studios, and space for multidisciplinary student and faculty collaboration. The building is the centerpiece of the Charger Challenge, the University's $100 million campaign.
Fittingly, Capasso presented the award to the Bergamis at the Bergami Summer Internship Presentation, the culminating event of the internship program that the Bergamis have funded for nearly a decade.
"My involvement with the University has been life-changing for me," said Sam Bergami, a member of the University's Board of Governors and a former Board chair. "Lois and I are grateful to the Student Philanthropy Council for this recognition. We encourage the students on the Council to keep spreading the spirit of giving, not only on our campus, but throughout their lives."
The Student Philanthropy Council, which is an initiative created in partnership with the University's Office of Advancement, presented its inaugural Distinguished Philanthropy Award last year to Phil Bartels '11 Hon., a longtime supporter of the University, member of the Board of Governors, and former Board chair.
As he presented the award to Sam and Lois Bergami, Capasso thanked them for their devotion and credited them with inspiring him and his fellow students.
"My time as a student at this University has changed me," said Capasso. "I have learned what kind of person I would like to be and how I want to live my life. I think my fellow council members would join me in saying that, like both of you, we would like to influence and inspire others to work together to make a difference in their communities."