Constantine & Marie Macricostas
Local businessman and philanthropist Constantine “Deno” Macricostas, his wife Marie, and son George, have been very generous to the university. In October 2014, the long-time supporters announced a gift of $3 million from the Macricostas Family Fund to the university –the largest in WCSU’s history.
Western acknowledged the gift by announcing that it would name The Macricostas Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences in honor of the family.
“With this gift, Deno Macricostas and his family become, by far, the largest philanthropic supporters of our university,” said WCSU President James W. Schmotter. “Our gratitude to them is unbounded, and it is made even more special because of Deno’s personal experiences. His is the classic American immigrant success story, and it provides an inspiration to all on our campus. This gift will transform our Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences, the largest of our academic units and one in which every WCSU student, regardless of major, studies. It is indeed a momentous day for Western Connecticut State University.”
Macricostas explained why he and his family decided to support WCSU with this gift.
“Education is important to the success of our children and our community,” Macricostas said. “We live in a competitive and challenging world that requires growing our knowledge and increasing exposure from each generation. Our family takes pride in helping to support the great work of Western Connecticut State University in preparing students for active participation in our global society.”
Macricostas emigrated to the U.S. from Greece in search of a better life. While attending college he earned extra money as a fry cook at a local diner on weekends. He saved enough money to start his own company in 1969, Photronics, Inc., which manufactures photomasks, a component in the creation of silicon computer chips. The company remains headquartered in Connecticut with additional operations in Idaho, Texas, Taiwan, Korea and Europe. Photronics is one of the largest photomask manufacturers in the world.
Macricostas has long supported Western. A gift in 2002, at the time the largest in the university’s history, supports scholarships, the Macricostas Entrepreneur of the Year Award and lectures on business, culture and Greek contributions to society.
The new gift will support a lecture series intended to bring renowned speakers to the university for the benefit of students and the community, the university’s travel-abroad program and additional scholarships.