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UNH Breaks Ground on Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation

November 21, 2018

The state-of-the-art facility, scheduled to open in early 2020, will house, among other cutting-edge amenities, engineering and science labs, the most technologically advanced collaborative classrooms, and video production studios.

Before she started college, Jillian Jacques '19 concedes that, to her, innovation was just a word.

“It didn’t mean anything more than to make changes in something that already exists,” she said. “Now I’ve come to see that it means much more. It means having creativity, curiosity, and community. It means moving forward with the times and helping others to do the same.”

A computer science major who is part of the nationwide University Innovation Fellowship Program, she reflected on her definition of innovation last week at the groundbreaking ceremony for the University’s Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation.

“Innovation doesn’t happen without interdisciplinary communities,” she said. “We can’t move forward if we keep what we know to ourselves, and we move forward better when we are surrounded by people who know different things than we do. When interdisciplinary conversations happen – such as engineers talking to business people – amazing things can happen. That’s what this building is about.”

Once completed, the Bergami Center – a centerpiece of The Charger Challenge – will be a 44,000-square-foot, three-story building that will house, among other cutting-edge amenities, engineering and science labs, the most technologically advanced collaborative classrooms, and video production studios. A central focus of the facility’s makerspace is providing tools and resources that enable students from across the University to work with industry partners to create prototypes of new ideas and innovative products.

More than one-third of building is “open space” that will foster idea exchange and teamwork. Instead of traditional faculty offices, it will feature co-working space to foster collaboration.

"Founded nearly 100 years ago to meet the engineering and business needs of the region, the University now offers innovative and cutting-edge programs – such as cybersecurity, national security, data science, and biomedical engineering – that prepare our students for the careers of the future,” said President Steve Kaplan.

The building is named in honor of Sam and Lois Bergami, who are among the University’s most devoted benefactors. They established the Samuel S. Bergami Jr. Learning Center for Finance and Technology and supported the University’s acquisition of what is now Bergami Hall. They also, along with Charlie ’71, ’90 EMBA and Tammy Pompea, enabled the purchase of the University’s Orange Campus, which is home to the Bergami and Pompea Graduate Center.

“It is most fitting and most deserved that the Bergami family name will live on forever in a building filled with so much potential and opportunity,” said President Kaplan.

Bergami, a current member and former chair of the University’s Board of Governors, is president and CEO of Alinabal Holdings Corp, the parent company of Alinabal Inc., in Milford, Conn., which employs 400 people.

Supporting the University has been and continues to be important to Lois and me,” said Bergami.

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