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New Canaan Couple Commits $1M To Fairfield's Sacred Heart

A new lecture hall on the Sacred Heart University campus will be named after New Canaan residents Frank and Marisa Martire in recognition of their $1 million donation.
A new lecture hall on the Sacred Heart University campus will be named after New Canaan residents Frank and Marisa Martire in recognition of their $1 million donation. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- A new lecture hall at Fairfield's Sacred Heart University will be named the Frank R. and Marisa Martire Forum after the New Canaan husband and wife who have committed $1 million toward the construction of the building.

The new building will be located at Jefferson Street and Park Avenue and will be a new gateway to the university’s Fairfield campus.

Martire is a 1969 alumnus of Sacred Heart and currently serves as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees. He is employed as chairman and CEO of Financial Information Systems in the Jacksonville, Fla., area. In addition to his volunteer work with Sacred Heart, he serves on the board of Baptist Health Care and on the Leadership Committee of the Mayo Clinic.

He and Marisa have been married for 43 years and have three children and eight grandchildren.

The amphitheater-style forum and lecture hall will be the site of lectures and programs for the university and neighboring communities. The 200-seat facility will provide reconfiguration options for classes and events of various sizes and will allow the university to organize and/or host high-level conferences and events.

“As an alumnus of Sacred Heart University, my wife Marisa and I are very proud to be involved with Sacred Heart," Martire said in a statement. "We look forward to playing any role we can in contributing to the advancement of the school. Our gift represents both the loyalty we have for Sacred Heart and the confidence we have in the growth and future of the University. These are very exciting times for all of us associated with Sacred Heart."

In addition to the Forum, the new academic building will feature an active trading floor; two large studios for television, video and film production, as well as industry-standard post-production facilities, screening venues and multimedia classrooms; a new Center of Excellence for Pedagogy – a super interactive classroom for training professors on the most up-to-date tools and processes; a two-story atrium; satellite-equipped classrooms for interaction with other university campuses; classrooms for use by the entire university; faculty offices; conference rooms and lounges for meetings between faculty and students; a café and elegant landscaping infused with walking paths and benches for informal meetings.

“We are extremely grateful for Frank’s dedication to his alma mater both through his contributions as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and for the generous gift that he and Marisa have made to our new academic building,” University President John J. Petillo said in a statement. “This building represents our commitment to our students and their ever-changing needs.”

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