Investing in Future Finance Professionals
In February 2003, American Savings Foundation announced a gift to Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) establishing the American Savings Foundation Chair in Banking and Finance.
The gift represented a permanent legacy of the bank that created the American Savings Foundation, and an investment in Banking and Finance as a career for future generations. It was announced on the same day that American Savings Bank merged with Banknorth (now TD Bank).
Establishing the Endowed Chair at CCSU had tremendous meaning for everyone involved with American Savings Bank and the Foundation it established, especially for Robert T. Kenney, chairman of the Bank, and chairman of the Foundation’s board of directors.
A primary goal of establishing the Chair was to provide focused educational opportunities for students who have the interest and potential to pursue careers in the banking and finance industries. The focus was to connect academic programs at CCSU to current practitioners in banking, who provide practical training and bring real-world experience to the classroom. The result is solid, practial career preparation for students with an industry that offers tremenous growth opportunities for Connecticut students.
The gift also endowed an annual Distinguished Lecture in Banking and Finance at CCSU. Guest speakers have included Economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff from Boston University; Economist James K. Galbraith from the University of Texas at Austin; Thomas R. Keene, Editor-at-Large for Bloomberg News; and Eric Rosengren, Chairman of the Boston Federal Reserve. Recent lectures have featured rich panel discussions on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and the Future of Fintech – Financial Technologies in the Banking World.
Current Chairholder Richard A. Leone is President of COCC, a financial technologies company based in Southington, CT. Today, COCC is the fastest-growing financial data processing company in the United States, and is recognized as a leader in innovation. COCC has been ranked a Top Workplace by the Hartford Courant for the past ten years. Mr. Leone, who earned a B.S. in Accounting at CCSU in 1984, believes that CCSU students can find rewarding careers in the financial industry in Connecticut.