FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 18, 2017
Director of Corporate Communications
Youngstown State University Honors Cafaro Family
The name of the award is deceptively simple: Friends of the University. Yet it is only reserved for those rare individuals who have provided extraordinary support for Youngstown State University (YSU), in Youngtown, Ohio. On May 17, YSU President James Tressel, along with YSU Foundation President Paul McFadden and university’s board of trustees conferred that honor on the Cafaro family. Hundreds of university officials, family friends and civic leaders were on hand for the 20th Annual Award Dinner. Numerous members of the Cafaro family were on hand. Anthony Cafaro, Sr., William A. Cafaro and Capri Cafaro addressed the attendees, expressing their gratitude and loyalty to YSU and its academic mission.
The family’s generosity is rooted in the example of William M. Cafaro, best known as the co-founder of what is now the largest privately held shopping center development company in America. William and his wife Alyce enthusiastically supported schools, churches, hospitals and many other charitable causes. They often insisted on helping people anonymously. Shortly after Alyce’s death in 1996, the Cafaro family established the Cafaro Foundation, in her loving memory. William passed away in 1998.
William Cafaro was closely associated with the development of Youngstown State University. In the 1960s, he lobbied Ohio state officials to designate YSU as a state university. In addition, he served for years on the board of the YSU Education Foundation. In 1995, he and his wife donated $1 million to construct Cafaro House, a residential honors facility for outstanding students.
The Cafaro’s instilled the same generosity in their children. Their son Anthony, his wife Phyllis and his sister Flora have made multiple gifts to the university. Anthony has been a YSU Foundation member since 2000 and is a member of the Foundation’s Governance Committee. The Cafaro Family Foundation donated $1 million toward the construction of the WATTS Center, $250,000 toward the construction of the Andrews Recreation and Wellness Center and $100,000 to establish the Betty Nohra Scholarship in nursing and business.
William and Alyce’s other son, John, along with his wife Jan, gifted $1,750,000 to fund the renovation of Lincoln and Phelps Halls. In addition, they have supported the Annual Homecoming Parades in 2015 and 2016.
To date, the Cafaro Family’s total giving to YSU and the YSU Foundation has exceeded $4 million. Today, a third generation of the Cafaro family directs their legacy of philanthropy, a legacy that will benefit generations of students at Youngstown State University.