Iona College has renamed its business school after Robert V. LaPenta, an alumnus and trustee who contributed $17.5 million to expanding the program.
LaPenta’s gift is the largest in Iona’s history, and it is enabling the Catholic college in New Rochelle to renovate and double the size of the business school. Ground was broken for the $37 million, 67,260-square-foot project in July.
LaPenta was the first member of his family to attend college, according to an Iona news release. He graduated in 1967, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
His degree and time at Iona prepared him for success, he said in the news release, and have given him the ability to help business students grow into leaders and entrepreneurs.
LaPenta is a founding partner of Aston Capital Partners, a Stamford firm that invests in companies that specialize in military intelligence, homeland security and green technology. He is chairman and CEO of Revolution Lighting Technologies and The Radiant Group.
He founded L-1 Identity Solutions and co-founded L-3 Communications. He also has held positions with Banc of America Securities, Credit Suisse First Boston, PaineWebber, Salomon Smith Barney, and Coopers & Lybrand, according to a Bloomberg.com profile.
He has owned race horses since 1998, with estimated lifetime earnings of nearly $19 million, according to America’s Best Racing. He co-owns “Catholic Boy,” the winner of the $1.25 million Travers Stakes for 3-year-olds on Aug. 25.
The LaPenta School of Business is not the first Iona facility to be named after him. The Robert V. LaPenta Student Union opened in 2005, in part because of his $6 million donation. The LaPenta-Lynch Trading Floor opened in 2011.
The business school has operated for decades in Hagan Hall – the building that is being expanded – and until recently the business program has been known colloquially as the Hagan School of Business.
John G. Hagan Jr. was a college trustee in the 1960s and 1970s.
The LaPenta School of Business refers to the new building and to the undergraduate and graduate business programs.
The Hagan name will continue to be memorialized within the business school, college spokesman Brian Beyrer said, in a way that has yet to be determined.