Two longtime supporters of the University of New Haven were celebrated Friday at 5 p.m. when UNH’s newly opened Orange Campus complex was named in their honor at a ceremony hosted by the UNH Board of Governors.
The complex of three buildings, which opened in January, will be named the Bergami and Pompea Graduate Center in honor of Samuel S. Bergami, Jr. ’85 EMBA and his wife, Lois, and Charles E. Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA and his wife, Tamera.
The Bergamis and the Pompeas made significant contributions to the university to permit the purchase of the campus, which is located at the former Hubbell Electronics headquarters. Both families are among the most generous donors and ardent supporters of the university.
Located on 47 rural acres, the campus in Orange is used by the College of Business for its MBA and EMBA programs. The university’s master’s degree in sports management program, the College of Lifelong & eLearning, several graduate programs in engineering and the Center for Family Business also are located at the Orange facility. Plans call for other graduate programs to eventually be located on the campus.
“The University is grateful to the Bergamis and Pompeas for their generous support,” said President Steven H. Kaplan. “They have embraced our mission and are committed to helping the University of New Haven become a national leader in higher education.”
Bergami has spent nearly 50 years at Alinabal, Inc., moving up the ranks from a tool and die apprentice to president and CEO and co-owner of the company, which employs 400 people.
Pompea spent nearly 20 years at Primary Steel, which he purchased in 1993 and grew into a $600 million company. He is now the owner of the Springfield Falcons, a Massachusetts-based American Hockey League team.
Both the Bergami and Pompea families were significant donors to the construction of two of the university’s signature buildings, the Beckerman Recreation Center and the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science.
Additionally, the Bergamis funded the construction of the Samuel S. Bergami Jr. Learning Center for Finance and Technology in Maxcy Hall and the university’s purchase of what is now Bergami Hall on the Boston Post Road. The Pompeas have funded renovations of a number of significant campus facilities and many other important initiatives.
Bergami was chair of the university’s Board of Governors from 2006 to 2012.Pompea previously served as vice chair of the board and is now an emeritus member.
UNH has invested more than $9 million in the Bergami and Pompea Graduate Center, including purchasing the property for $3.1 million and renovating and equipping it. Built in 1960 for Associated Seed Growers, it was sold to Hubbell in 1971. Hubbell expanded the building in 1973 and 1985. The building now has about 77,000 square feet.
The Orange campus has 12 classrooms ranging in capacity from 16 to 40 seats, an 88-seat cafeteria, offices for faculty and staff, a computer lab and six breakout spaces for student use. The campus is at 25 percent capacity now, and it is anticipated that eventually it will serve 220 students and staff during days and evenings.