On the occasion of the University of Bridgeport’s alumni Homecoming Weekend this past Saturday, Carver’s longtime volunteer leader and very generous donor Richard Whitcomb received UB’s Leadership in Philanthropy Award. Also, the university celebrated the ribbon cutting on the major renovation of a 19th century four-story mansion made possible by George and Carol Bauer who received UB’s Leadership in Philanthropy Award and who are also important Carver donors and longtime friends. The building will be called the Bauer Hall Innovation Center.
See the program journal for the UB Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner here.
Mr. Whitcomb earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from UB in 1960 and his master’s from UB in secondary education in 1966. At St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, Mr. Whitcomb served as a legendary football coach, teacher, and athletic director at the private school before being named headmaster in 1980, a position he held fro 22 years. Mr. Whitcomb has been a stalwart and inspirational Carver volunteer, donor, advocate and board member for decades! Without question, Carver’s year after year growth and successful programming would not have been possible without Mr. Whitcomb’s leadership in so many ways and times. Carver awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, Carver’s 75th anniversary year. Mr. Whitcomb did not just take up his career in education and sports to make a living. He did it because he could not imagine living any other way. That passion took Dick from Vermont to the pinnacle of his profession in Connecticut.
Other featured events at this seaside university during the weekend include the reopening of a long-dormant Student Center bowling alley, a salute to UB veterans, a dance under the stars on Waldemere lawn and a bonfire at Seaside Park. A thousand or more alumni attended the weekend festivities. See all the UB Homecoming Weekend events here on the UB’s alumni Facebook page.
Many alumni may recall the new Bauer Hall as Darien Hall, nestled on the edge of Seaside Park behind Marina Dining Hall. Built in 1893, it was home to two industrial titans, Levi Eaton, president of Bryant Electric company and then William Grippin, president of Bridgeport Malleable Iron Company before it was acquired by UB in 1959. It was initially used for student housing. Rather than raze it and start from scratch, UB decided to preserve its integrity and bring it into today’s technological world, according to George Estrada, vice president for facilities at UB.
The center will include 8,600 square feet of brainstorming booths, an International Trade Center, and conference rooms. It will become home to UB’s existing venture programs, including the Student Entrepreneur Center and the UB Incubator. The ground floor of the 9,600-square-foot space, filled with exposed brick, glass and curved archways, has conference and meeting rooms. Upstairs are brainstorming rooms and an office for an intellectual property management lawyer who will provide advice to the Student Entrepreneur Center as well as start ups that rent incubation space in the facility. Officials say it will be a couple more weeks before the center is fully up and running.
Many Carver students today go on to UB for their higher education journeys. We are grateful to the many UB alumni who support our youth today in becoming Lifetime Achievers.