The University community came together virtually to recognize longtime benefactor Charlie Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA, ’06 Hon., his wife Tamera, and their family, who recently made the largest gift in the University’s history.
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications, University of New Haven
As a high school student, Emma Conrad ’19, ’20 MBA visited 19 colleges while deciding where to go to school. She still remembers the moment she stood in front of Bayer Hall when she visited the University of New Haven, when she realized she’d found her home for the next four years. She says it was a moment she’ll remember forever.
A member of the University’s fast track program, Conrad earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and her MBA in four years. She recently accepted a full-time position in Colorado at KPMG, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. She shared her story with the University community during a virtual event to celebrate the official dedication of the Pompea College of Business.
“My four years at the University have prepared me for the job of my dreams,” said Conrad. “I am forever grateful to my professors and the entire Pompea College of Business.”
The University’s Pompea College of Business is named in honor of Charlie Pompea ’71, ’90 EMBA, ’06 Hon., his wife, Tamera, and the Pompea family, who recently gave the University the largest gift in its history. A longtime benefactor of the University and a successful business executive, Charlie Pompea is the retired president and CEO of Primary Steel and vice chair of the University’s Board of Governors.
‘Will change thousands of lives’
The University community recently came together virtually for a toast held via Zoom to recognize the Pompea family. The event, which streamed live on Facebook, included faculty and staff members, current students, and alumni.
“Your transformational investment in the College of Business will change the lives of thousands of students now and in the future,” Brian Kench, Ph.D., dean of the Pompea College of Business, told the Pompea family. “Particularly meaningful to me is the investment in the Pompea scholarships for our students, which will help them afford the opportunities they deserve.”
Hannah Providence ’22 is a former recipient of a scholarship supported by the Pompea family. Midway through her senior year of high school, she was notified that she had received the scholarship. While researching Pompea so she could send a thank you note, she found his story in the University’s Alumni Magazine.
“One thing that really stuck with me was his advice to young students telling us to never stop learning, which resonates now more than ever,” said Providence, who will take part in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s highly competitive Sophomore Career Exploration Internship this summer.
“Everything I’ve learned in the Pompea College of Business has increased the quality of work I produce – as well as my work ethic – at my internships, on campus, or through my volunteer work. I have thrived since enrolling as an economics major at the University.”
‘It’s all about passion’
Earlier this year, the College of Business earned renewal of its AACSB accreditation, a distinction that places it among the top five percent of business schools worldwide. The organization lauded the University’s new bachelor’s degrees in business analytics, international business, and esports and gaming and its standing as one of the first in the country to create STEM-designated MBA concentrations and other STEM-designated graduate business programs.
“Charlie exemplifies the power of perseverance, hard work, and determination, and he embodies the ideals we strive to instill in all of our students,” said President Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D. “Thanks to Charlie and Tamera, the Pompea College of Business is entering an exciting new chapter, one with unlimited potential. As a University community, we should take great pride in the confidence that Charlie and Tamera have in our vision for the Pompea College of Business and the role it will have in preparing students to be the leaders of the future.”
Pompea has also contributed to the restoration of Maxcy Hall, the construction of the Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation, the Beckerman Recreation Center, and the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science. The Pompeas joined Charlie’s former classmate Sam Bergami Jr. ’85 EMBA, ’02 Hon. and his wife, Lois, in supporting the University’s purchase of its campus in Orange, Conn., which has been dedicated the Bergami and Pompea Graduate Center and is home to the Pompea College of Business.
“At the University, we have wonderful professors and real-life learning opportunities for our current and future students,” said Pompea. “It’s all about passion. It’s all about how you pursue what you love in life. If you pursue it and work hard enough, you can reach your goals.”
Conrad, the recent grad who is headed to KPMG, thanked the Pompea family and shared how her experience at the University enabled her to explore her passions. A member of the University’s Accounting Club, she also helped her classmates with their job and internship searches through her work with the University’s Career Development Center. The provost’s assistant for the University’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, she served as a mentor for teams of students during pitch competitions.
“On this very special day celebrating the generosity of the Pompea family, I’m thrilled to say that I’m a member of the University’s Centennial class and among the first graduates of the Pompea College of Business,” she said.