August 2016

Longtime Husky Fan Enhances The Front Porch View

Grace Merritt
Grace Merritt

2 min read

Bruce Banks started following UConn sports when he was just eight years old and would listen to UConn basketball games on WTIC radio.

Later, as a Husky student, he followed the basketball and football teams religiously and was part of the broadcast team for the football team on WHUS, UConn’s community and student radio station.

He earned a business degree from UConn in 1977 and in 1982 added another degree from the College of Allied Health.

He made one fateful trip back to campus in 1986 to speak out at a hearing on whether UConn should consider leaving the Big East conference.

“It’s hard to believe now that there was a hearing like that,” he said. “If you aspire to greatness, it would have been the most foolish decision ever. The road we chose was to continue and look at all the success we had afterward.”

His lifelong passion and support for UConn athletics led him to make a more serious commitment recently. As he edged toward his 60th birthday, he decided that he would leave part of his estate to the Division of Athletics.

“Contributing to my beloved university is a great use of the money,” he said.

Banks sees his planned gift as a way to support and promote UConn’s rising academic reputation.

“I believe that part of being a great flagship university is you have to have visibility,” he explained. “The way you get visibility is through your front porch. That front porch is your athletic teams, to borrow a phrase from UConn President Susan Herbst. It’s the visibility that gets you more applications, a better student body, and more contributions to the endowment.”

“I want UConn to continue to be ranked in the top 20 of state universities in U.S. News & World Report ratings. If we continue at that level we’ll be doing great,” he said.

Banks, an accounting and human resources manager for the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, always intended to leave a planned gift. He was not sure how to go about it until he connected with a member of the UConn Athletic Development staff for the UConn Foundation. He was told about planned giving at UConn, a strategic way for donors to make a significant contribution that may not otherwise have been possible during a donor’s lifetime. These gifts range from a bequest, appreciation securities, gifts of retirement accounts, and gifts of life insurance to charitable income gifts.

Planned giving donors are honored as members of the Charles Lewis Beach Society, named after UConn’s fifth president, whose tenure ran from 1908-1928.

Charles Lewis Beach members don’t pay dues or have any obligations, and their membership gives the University a chance to thank them and recognize them for the plans they’ve made. Benefits of membership in the Charles Lewis Beach Society also include annual luncheons, invitations to special events and seminars, and a subscription to the group’s newsletter.

 

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New Haven Promise Sends More Freshmen to UConn

Grace Merritt
Grace Merritt

3 min read

Announcing their names with a grand flourish usually reserved for big-time sports, announcers introduced 64 high school students who officially become UConn freshmen Monday with the help of the New Haven Promise Program and an additional $5,000 UConn scholarship.

“From the Engineering and Science University Magnet School, Ni-collllle Ri-veeeeeera Rod-ri-guezzzz,” announcer Kevin Laseau trumpeted into a microphone during the New Haven Program celebration on Aug. 11.

The UConn-bound students, along with about 240 other college-bound students, marched one by one across the enormous stage at Central Connecticut State University last week to shake hands with dignitaries while hundreds of friends and relatives applauded. The graduation-style ceremony celebrated the New Haven Promise program and this year’s batch of scholars.

All will head to colleges around Connecticut and the country in coming weeks, but the majority are coming to UConn, thanks in part to UConn’s commitment in December to give an additional $5,000 to New Haven Promise scholars who enroll at the state’s flagship university. In all, most of these incoming Huskies will receive $15,000 between the Promise program, Pell grants, and the UConn commitment.

“This is huge,” said Rivera, 17, explaining that she has an older brother in college, too. “This is helping him and my parents. It took a weight off my parents’ shoulders.”

With the new commitment, UConn is paying a total of $300,000 for New Haven Promise scholarship funding this year alone. The University is in the midst of a major fundraising effort to raise $150 million for student scholarships through its Transform Lives Initiative.

To qualify for the New Haven Promise scholarship, New Haven students must maintain an average 3.0 GPA in high school, have a 90 percent attendance record, complete 40 hours of volunteer work during their high school career , live in New Haven for entire length of high school, and attend a New Haven public school.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of students going to UConn,” said Brett Hoover, a digital strategist for New Haven Promise. “In 2011, 17 students went to UConn and now, in 2016, we have 64.”

About 70 percent of Promise scholars at UConn come from families earning less than $60,000 while half earn less than $30,000. Of the 64 freshmen, 42 are first generation students, Hoover said.

In January, UConn made a similar commitment to Hartford students through the Hartford Promise scholarship program. More than 40 Hartford Promise students head to UConn Monday as well.

Anynha Phelmetto, 18, of Achievement First Amistad High School in New Haven, says UConn’s contribution to the New Haven Promise program makes UConn a more affordable option than private schools she considered.

She says she plans to double major in political science and women and gender studies with a minor in Spanish. Her goal is to study abroad, attend law school, and use her law degree to advocate for women in other countries.

“I want to help women throughout the world,” she said.

Phelmetto, like many of the students in the New Haven Promise program, spent six weeks in UConn’s Student Support Services summer program taking classes and preparing for rigors of college.

Earl Bloodworth ’97 (CLAS) of New Haven was at the ceremony along with other New Haven-area UConn alums to welcome the new students. He said he and his wife, Sherene Mason ’97 (CLAS) ’05 MBA ’06 MD, are thrilled with the program, which covers 75 percent of the cost of their son, Isaac’s, tuition.

“New Haven Promise is awesome,” Bloodworth said. “It helps prepare them, and it helps get them on track and stay on track in college. It lets them do internships. It also helps move New Haven forward because it helps get them to college, get through college, and then come back to New Haven.”

Also during ceremony, UConn alum Fontaine Chambers ’16 (CLAS) was given the New Haven Promise Legacy Award for her commitment to her education as well as to fellow Promise scholars and the city of New Haven. While at UConn, Chambers was involved in a student group that worked with at-risk youths and was an influential tutor and role model. She is now interning with a criminal defense attorney while working full time and hopes to attend law school.

 

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Dr. Jeff Rosow ’80 Reflects on Life in the Dentist’s Chair

Tiffany Ventura Thiele
Tiffany Ventura Thiele

3 min read

Hard work and perseverance has paid off for Dr. Jeff Rosow ’80 DMD. Rosow recently retired after a 36-year career in dentistry, but he doesn’t forget where it all began: at UConn’s School of Dental Medicine.

“Even though it took me six years to get through dental school, I felt that my instructors were always fair with me, with a few in particular who went out of their way to work with me, advocate for me, and offer encouragement and support,” said Rosow. “I’m forever grateful to those UConn instructors, administrators, and UConn itself for allowing me to fulfill my dream of becoming a dentist.”

Rosow has many fond memories of UConn, including one incident in the lab that proves dentistry can have its dangerous moments.

“A couple of classmates were working on wax-ups in the lab when one of them bent over the flame a little too closely while inspecting his work,” said Rosow. “Unfortunately for him, his hair caught on fire. It took the other classmate, who was laughing hysterically, to tell him just in the nick of the time.”

With the support of so many at the UConn School of Dental Medicine, Rosow graduated and enjoyed a successful career. During his time as the dental director at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, Conn., he said that some of his fondest memories are those of the patients he helped.

“My most memorable experience is having the opportunity to spend my entire career servicing the dental needs of a very special and wonderful group of patients with psychiatric and/or substance abuse illness,” said Rosow. “I’ve worked with an incredible staff and amazing people.”

Throughout his career, Rosow was active in numerous hospital and community activities. He founded the Connecticut Valley Hospital/River Valley Services Toy Drive in 1991, which has provided thousands of toys for local families in need. Rosow was a strong advocate for dental services for the underserved at the hospital and in Connecticut. He was active in the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA), serving on the Continuing Education Council, Access to Care Committee, and the Connecticut Mission of Mercy steering committee. The Connecticut Mission of Mercy is a two-day clinic that provides free dental care to the underserved and uninsured in the state.

“What I enjoyed—and was most amazed by—while working with the Connecticut Mission of Mercy was having the opportunity of working with an incredibly large number of selfless, caring, and dedicated individuals,” said Rosow. “It was also wonderful being part of something so meaningful and sharing in the many heartwarming stories of those that were helped by the care they received.”

Rosow is also proud of his work with the Sail CT Access Program. Founded in 1989, the program offers persons with special needs the opportunity to enjoy sailing, taking them out in specially-designed boats from Westbrook into Long Island Sound. Rosow is a former board member and plans to remain active in the organization.

Retirement still feels a bit “surreal” to Rosow, who’s looking forward to spending more time with his wife Karen; his three sons, Todd, Michael, and Neal; and his grandchildren. But his legacy will always be a part of Connecticut Valley Hospital. In June, the hospital announced it had named the dental clinic after him. Additionally, the Integrative Medicine Committee, which Rosow helped form in 2009, named a corner of the hospital library as the Rosow Integrative Healing Center.

“Thanks to the patients and staff at the hospital, family and friends, along with some wonderful mentors in dentistry, UConn School of Dental Medicine and the CSDA, I had a lot of support and was able to grow tremendously professionally and personally,” said Rosow. “It is with all of them that I share and owe these honors.”

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Mo’s Letter

Montique Cotton Kelly
Montique Cotton Kelly

2 min read

While most of us aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to summer, the longer days will soon become shorter—and busier! The fall season is almost upon us, which means we’ll be welcoming the Class of 2020 to campus. There are also plenty of exciting events coming up, including the Geno Auriemma UConn Leadership Conference (you can learn more in this newsletter).

The return of fall also means that one of my favorite events of the year is almost here: Huskies Forever Weekend. This year, the fun extends over two weekends—one just isn’t enough for all that’s planned! Storrs will be the place to be as we share the friendships, joy, and memories that made our UConn experience so memorable and special. It’s our way of thanking each and every one of you for being a part of the alumni family.

This year, we’ve got a lot of great activities for you, but here are three things that simply can’t be missed:

  1. Paint ‘n’ Pint at Horsebarn Hill (with Dairy Bar ice cream!)
  2. UConn vs. University of Central Florida Homecoming Football Game
  3. The Storrs Center Stroll

With a number of reunions from nursing and engineering to our 40th and 50th classes, as well as live music and learning opportunities, there’s something for everyone. And don’t forget about our Huskies Forever 5K. This year, the run will take place on October 16 and feature a buffet breakfast, parade, and carnival.

You can find more information about these events by visiting our Huskies Forever Weekend page. Come back to UConn and remember the fun you had—and make new memories for the future.

Our hashtag for the weekend is #HuskiesForeverWknd. Share your stories, memories, and pictures, and we’ll share them with the rest of the world. Connect with us on social media and see what your fellow Husky alums are up to.

It’s going to be a great time—can’t wait to see you there!

Mo

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Get Your Science On

Suzanne Morrissey
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< 1 min read

UConn’s popular Science Salon series has a new slate of topics starting in October. Conceived as a way for the state’s university to share the cutting-edge research of its renowned faculty with the public, the Science Salon will hold six events through the spring.

Three will be held in Stamford, and three in Hartford. Come to one or all of the Salons, where alumni, business leaders, and guests join top UConn scientists and researchers to examine technological developments, debate health and human behavior, and advance discussions on current issues in a fun atmosphere. Bring your friends: The evening is a chance to do something different, learn, geek out a bit, and enjoy a cocktail. Here’s a sneak peek of the topics on deck.

  • October 6: 3D printing in health and style
  • November 10: medical marijuana
  • January 19, 2017: personal information as a commodity
  • March 2, 2017: cancer and the family
  • April 6, 2017: food waste
  • June 8, 2017: the creative process and business

Reserve your tickets in the coming weeks by checking the Science Salon website.

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UConn Magazine

UConn Foundation
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Your Fall issue of UConn Magazine is coming soon! The Magazine team checks in with professors about how they are helping NASA prep for missions to Mars, what they want every parent of a sports-playing child to know, and why they are passionate about preserving the language of the Deaf.

Students talk about life on campus, alums share news about life everywhere (pancakes in Paris, pastilles on Broadway, puppets at the Boston Pops). Plus: an astounding sampling of 50 years of art at the William Benton Museum of Art (above, Tibetan monks create a sand mandala, grain by grain, at The Benton in November 2008).

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