Just spoke with Peter Werth of Woodbridge, who, on Thursday, pledged to donate $4.5 million to a new practice facility for the UConn basketball teams.
Werth, 73, is the CEO/founder of Chemwerth, a drug development and supply company based in Connecticut. He also is a “legend donor” at UConn.
He said he’s known UConn interim athletic director Paul Pendergast for around 10 years.
“Paul Pendergast was actually the first person I got involved with when he was at UConn on the athletics side, then he went to St. Francis (Hospital), we followed him over to St. Francis and we continued to give to UConn and helped fund programs at St. Francis.”
Prior to the $4.5 million, Werth said his largest donation was somewhere around $300,000.
So why the big money?
Werth had some interesting comments:
*”We’ve know Paul Pendergast for I guess going on ten years, they put a little pressure on me…and I caved in.”
* “Like I said, they were very persuasive, and we enjoy (UConn sports), so we did it. We were quite surprised…we didn’t realize it was the largest donation.”
*I’ve always been a reasonably large donor…when they were talking about the practice facility, they said ‘they’d like me to step up.’”
* “They wanted the money…I said ‘we’ll do what we can do.’ We probably gave a little bit more than we expected. That’s life – we’ll live with it.”
* “This was an ongoing thing for at least eight months, 10 months. It wasn’t like we met Thursday and they wanted a commitment by Sunday.”
* “I said ‘if that what it takes,’ I was originally looking into that $3 million range, but they talked us into – he’s a good salesman – he talked us into a bigger number.”
Story to come in Saturday’s paper.