Messenger - Vol. 2, No. 2, Page 9 Winter 1993 Frank E. Acierno: Executive becomes a True Blue Hen When Delaware business executive Frank E. Acierno of Greenville made a $1 million donation to the fund-raising campaign for the Bob Carpenter Sports/Convocation Center, he says he didn't think about what he might get back. Being a special part of the Carpenter Center, Acierno says, "is a nice feeling. It has to do with educating the kids and it has to do with improving the quality of life at the University. It's a great building. I'm excited about being involved and about getting more involved. If they want me, they have me." As the owner of Park Place and Towne Court apartments in Newark, Acierno has worked with the University's housing office for nearly 30 years. "We house about 3,000 faculty and students in our apartment complexes every year, so I've always been a factor at the University," Acierno says. "But, of course, since I made money from that, some people say it doesn't count. "Maybe my contribution now is a way of repaying the University for that success. I've been very fortunate." Although he has long been a supporter of the University's athletic programs, this is the first time he's gotten involved in such a big way. In recognition of his gift to the Carpenter Center campaign-the largest from a single individual support, the arena in the facility has been named in his honor. "To tell you the truth, I was dead set against that at first," he says. "I called a family powwow, and I told my three kids I thought it would be a little much, but they said, 'Go for it!' So, eventually, I said, 'Fine. Put the name on the floor.' " In that arena recently, before a men's basketball game, the University's Alumni Association made Acierno a member of the Order of the True Blue Hen to show its appreciation for his generosity. Acierno, a native of Manhasset, Long Island, was only 20 when he graduated from the University of Virginia and, with a background in chemistry and chemical engineering, he was hired by the Du Pont Co., a profession he pursued until he eventually moved into real estate development. Acierno and his late wife, Carolyn Marta, have three children-a daughter, Cathleen Acierno Willauer of Rockland, Maine, and two sons, Frank and Michael, of Wilmington, Del. Involved in real estate development and other financial ventures, Acierno says he has never taken the time to develop hobbies, though he attends many basketball games and other events held in the Acierno Arena of the Bob Carpenter Center. "I buy a set of golf clubs every couple of years but I always end up giving them away. I never have time to play," he says. "This is an exciting time for me," he adds. "It's a different dimension. I'm beginning to channel more and more energy away from the business world and into philanthropy."