Western Connecticut State university has received its largest donation to date. $3 million from the Macricostas Family Fund has been contributed by Brookfield businessman Constantine “Deno” Macricostas. University spokesman Paul Steinmetz says the gift will support the university's travel-abroad program and additional scholarships. The gift will also support a lecture series intended to bring renowned speakers to the university for the benefit of students and the community.
The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Board of Regents for Higher Education acknowledged the gift and approved renaming Western's largest school to The Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences.
West Conn President Dr James Schmotter says Macricostas represents the classic American immigrant success story and provides an inspiration to the university community.
Macricostas emigrated to the U.S. from Greece in search of a better life. While attending college he earned extra money as a fry cook at a local diner on weekends. He saved enough money to start his own company in 1969, Photronics, Inc., which manufactures photomasks, a component in the creation of silicon computer chips. The company remains headquartered in Brookfield with additional operations in Idaho, Texas, Taiwan, Korea and Europe.
Macricostas explained why he and his family decided to support WCSU with this gift. “We live in a competitive and challenging world that requires growing our knowledge and increasing exposure from each generation. Our family takes pride in helping to support the great work of Western Connecticut State University in preparing students for active participation in our global society.”