Gift Creates Chair in Agricultural Economics

From the May issue of Our Moment, the UConn Foundation's e-newsletter

A Meriden native whose father persuaded him to attend UConn by telling him to “try it for a semester” every semester until he graduated has given $1.5 million to the University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources to fund the first endowed chair in Agricultural Resource Economics at UConn as part of the University’s capital campaign, Our University. Our Moment. The Campaign for UConn.

Richard ‘Dick’ DelFavero, who graduated UConn in 1956 with a degree in agricultural engineering, then returned to earn a graduate degree in agricultural economics, began a career in agricultural equipment marketing before joining his father’s business, DelFavero Builders. The firm constructed more than 400 condominiums in Connecticut, as well as business and industrial buildings. Although DelFavero built a successful career through construction, his heart always remained in agriculture. He eventually bought a 500-acre dairy farm in northern Vermont, where he now raises beef cattle.

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DelFavero (Life Member, UConn Alumni Association) attended a formal signing recently in the Rome Ballroom on the UConn campus. There, Dean Gregory Weidemann of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources thanked him in front of a group that included University Provost Peter Nicholls and several recipients of a scholarship fund DelFavero had established through the College some years ago, including Yarelys Tifa, who graduated this May. “I’m honored to be a recipient of the scholarship,” she said. “It’s hard for students and their families to afford college, and my UConn experience has been amazing thanks to the support I’ve received.”

Dean Weidemann was equally grateful.

“Universities are in the brain business, and we want to attract the best people in their fields. Chairs and professorships are a great way to do that,” Weidemann said. “Dick is a shining symbol of giving back. He has been very successful – and very humble – but also feels giving back is very important.”

The gift, from DelFavero and his wife Barbara, honors UConn’s roots as an agricultural school, and celebrates the international renown of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

“My experience at UConn created an opportunity for me that I would never have achieved if I hadn’t come,” said DelFavero, who was the first of his father’s sons to attend college. “My family has a history of supporting education, and at this point in our lives, we have the ability to fund the chair. I’m happy to do it.”

To give to the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, please contact the Foundation's development department.

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