University Presents Grand Opening of The Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation

The new Bergami Center for Science Technology and Innovation’s grand unveiling took place virtually on Tuesday, August 25. The grand opening honors a momentous occasion in the university’s 100-year history, and Sam Bergami’s 76th birthday, whom the building is named after.

Steven Kaplan — university President — honored Bergami in his speech. “Sam Bergami is a remarkable human being, he’s generous, he’s compassionate, he’s highly intelligent… and he’s a well-rounded person,” Kaplan said.

He also explained that Bergami never obtained his undergraduate degree before asking to be admitted to the University of New Haven’s Executive MBA program on the basis of his work experience.

“He was the second to last person to be admitted to the program under those circumstances, and what a great decision that was,” Kaplan expressed.

The philanthropy of Sam and Lois Bergami is represented in the Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation. Kaplan said that the building is in honor of Bergami’s goals to help others and improve humanity.

“In these uncertain times we are facing, what gives me great confidence in the future of these students are future leaders who will undoubtedly leave their mark on the world,” Bergami said in the center’s tribute video.

The new Bergami Center features several amenities dedicated to enhancing student learning and career development. Tiara Starks junior, communication major, is looking forward to using the new communication studio’s high-end equipment to “help her build a portfolio and ignite her career.”

The center also features several open areas where students can “collaborate with each other in ways [they] can’t even imagine,” Starks said.

The atrium, called Hazell Commons, will feature huddle rooms where students can meet in small groups, or use as a quiet study space.

There is also a resource zone near the Bucknall Family Cafe where students can meet with faculty and staff. The Peterson Auditorium — located on the third floor — seats up to 120 students, has full cinema function, and 3D capabilities.

Glass walls provide an open-view of the center’s Schuab Makerspace from the connected Buckman Hall, where engineering labs and classrooms are located.

“This building was designed for students,” Starks says. This statement echoes the testimony of Sam Bergami, who contributed so generously to this building because he is, “continually impressed by [the students’] dedication, their ambitious goals, and their drive to make a difference.”

Kaplan said the mission of this center is to “drive innovation and science.” The virtual event yesterday highlighted that mission with a special guest, Michio Kaku, who ended the night with a few words.

Kaku is a well-renowned physicist, a New York Times best-selling author, and a school teacher. He closed out the event with an enlightening lecture on the future of civilization and the future of humanity.

Kaku discussed the many facets of human life in which robots and machines can improve, from virtual lawyers (who know the laws under several different countries and jurisdictions) to new cinema experiences (where you can physically feel the feelings actors portray).

He ended with a message congratulating the university’s students, saying that every revolution has winners and losers, and they are among the winners.

“There is one job that robots cannot perform. They cannot perform a job requiring innovation, creativity, leadership, analysis, and planning… you are winners.”