Feb 16, 2014
Family's Polish Pride Means New Chair for Quinnipiac's Central European Institute
HAMDEN--A New Haven native is fulfilling his grandparents’ dream of bringing Polish students to the United States to get an education by making a significant donation to Quinnipiac University.
Pete and Kasia Novak donated $1 million to fund a new academic chair to support the university’s Central European Institute. The university has pledged to match Novak’s donation.
The Novak Family Polish Chair will help to establish the Polish American Business Leaders Program.
Pete Novak grew up in New Haven near Orange and State streets before moving to Long Meadow, Mass.
Both Pete Novak and Kasia Novak’s relatives traveled to the United States to visit after World War II.
“My pride for being Polish was always strong,” Pete Novak said.
But his insurance investment business kept Pete Novak tied to New Haven County by sponsoring Quinnipiac University’s athletic program.
“I was watching what Quinnipiac was doing and how they were growing, and I was impressed,” Novak said.
Pete Novak’s daughter, Alexandra, attended the university’s Elementary Education graduate program.
“It was evident that I wanted to put everything together and when Quinnipiac started the CEI program, this was something I could do,” Pete Novak said.