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Deep UConn Roots Inspire Meaningful Scholarship

By Kristin Dumont

The Filomeno Family Accounting Scholarship helps UConn business students prepare for success.

When Joseph Filomeno ’51 (BUS) first came to UConn, it was because his mother was intent upon him pursuing higher education.

“He was the son of a fruit vendor,” says Joseph’s son, Tom Filomeno ’78 (BUS), who followed in his father’s footsteps to UConn. “His parents came straight from Italy, and UConn was an affordable alternative at the time for a family like that.”

Joseph Filomeno became the first in his family to graduate from college and went on to found an accounting firm in 1967, Filomeno & Co. of West Hartford.

“My dad really appreciated his UConn roots and connections,” says Tom. “He was a humble man, and he knew UConn helped him achieve the success he earned. He wanted to help others receive the same great start he got there.”

Joseph’s inclination to help others translated into years of mentoring at his firm; the establishment of a Farmington-West Hartford chapter of UNICO, an Italian-American service organization; and the creation of the Filomeno Family Accounting Scholarship at UConn.

Today, the UNICO chapter holds a summer golf tournament to honor Joseph’s contributions and donates half of the proceeds to the scholarship. This year’s tournament netted $7,000 for the fund.

“There was a great feeling of community and charity at the tournament. Dad would be touched, for sure,” says Tom, who meets yearly with the scholarship recipients and serves on the Accounting Advisory Council at UConn.

$7,000

was generated for scholarships from the 2019 tournament.

“My brothers, Dan and Mike, and I are really excited to see the fund grow and build upon what our father started,” he says. “The kids are full of energy, and they all have exciting careers ahead of them. They’re ready to pursue their dreams, and you know coming from UConn that they’re going to be well-prepared for it.”

Katherine Kolc ’19 (BUS), who received the Filomeno Scholarship in her junior year at UConn, wrote to Tom and his brothers about the impact of their support. “I am a student who finances 50 percent of my education myself. The Filomeno Scholarship enabled me to save money to enroll in a summer course so I could obtain the credits needed to sit for the CPA exam in four years.”

The family’s continued support of the fund Joseph created has cemented his legacy of commitment to UConn.

“UConn is top quality academics-wise,” says Tom. “This scholarship allows students to avoid a huge debt-load and gives them opportunities to do things in a better way. Now, they can then use their skills to be productive in society right away. Dad would love that.”

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