Commencement is the time for honoring not only graduates but also community members who have made a difference for Naugatuck Valley Community College and its students. The Presidential Medal of Honor, established in 2012, is a prestigious award presented by President Daisy Cocco De Filippis to students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members who have distinguished themselves by their significant contribution to the mission accomplishment and program outcomes of our students and our college.
Presidential medals are traditionally presented during the Naugatuck Valley Community College commencement ceremony each May. However, due to present circumstances necessitated by the coronavirus quarantine, they will be presented in early summer at the College’s annual Community Meeting it hopes to hold in June.
Vice-Chair of the NVCC Foundation, Charles E. Pagano, Jr. has been selected for this honor based on his distinguished professional career and generous support of Naugatuck Valley Community College.
The Respiratory Classroom and Lab in the Center for Health Sciences has also been named in Pagano’s honor. It recognizes the leadership in technology and engineering that have been the hallmark of his career. His pioneering work in sports television production facilities and operations, earned Pagano national recognition for his innovations and service to the telecommunications industry. Emmy awards, hall of fame inductions, and broadcasting honors fill his resume, including the 2013 Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame honor, Legends Behind the Lens. The award honors contributors whose impact on the sports television industry is indelible.
“Chuck” Pagano’s community service includes leadership positions on the Waterbury Board of Education, Holy Land, Connecticut Network (CT-N), Tunxis Community College Foundation, Connecticut Technology Council, Waterbury’s Voting District Reapportionment Commission, and University of Hartford Board of Regents. He currently serves as Chairman for the President’s Advisory Council at the University of Hartford.
The Waterbury native never left his roots and donates his time and talents to area organizations, including Naugatuck Valley Community College which has benefited from his generosity to name the Diagnostic Imaging Lab in honor of his mother, Helen Pagano.
As vice-chair of the NVCC Foundation, he inaugurated the annual Leadership Breakfast for Education, a growing event which raises thousands of dollars to support scholarships and other NVCC programs and services. Chuck’s energy and can-do reputation have enabled him to leverage resources and engage others in his community service.
NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis commented, “Naugatuck Valley Community College is proud to have Chuck Pagano as a friend and supporter of the college’s mission. Naming this Respiratory Classroom and Lab in his honor is our sincerest recognition of his generosity and talents.”
Angela Chapman, Associate Dean of Development, summarized a short list of Pagano’s generosity to the College. “Chuck is the Vice-Chair of the Foundation and serves on the NVCC Foundation Scholarship committee, reviewing over 500 applications annually. In 2019, he established the endowment for the Charles E. Pagano, Jr. scholarship in the NVCC Foundation to support students majoring in a STEM discipline. This year, he was one of the principal donors to establish the NVCC Foundation COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund to help meet the immediate needs of our students so they can experience peace of mind and academic success during the coronavirus quarantine. In honor of his mother, Helen Pagano, Chuck made a naming contribution to establish the Diagnostic Imaging Lab in the Center for Health Sciences. Chuck Pagano has given so much of his time, treasure and talent to support NVCC students, changing the trajectory of so many lives. His dedication to our students and the community is truly a blessing.”
Commenting on the honors, Pagano noted, “I graduated high school in the spring of 1972 and enrolled in a couple of courses at Mattatuck Community College (NVCC now) down at the old bowling lanes on South Main Street. My connection to this institution has been exciting and part of my success in life and my business legacy. My business legacy includes 35 years at ESPN where I was the technology leader and Chief Technology Officer for my career. My definition of leadership is simple, helping others do better. It is why I’m involved with the Foundation’s leadership because when I needed help to do better, NVCC was there for me during my formative time right after high school. I am truly humbled and honored to be receiving this recognition, but I am most happy to be helping the cause for this great institution.”