Posted on Jun 27, 2003

Schenectady, N.Y. (June 27, 2003) Frank Messa, a 1973 graduate of Union College and Senior Vice President of Ayco Co., and his wife, Colleen, have donated $1.5 million for the renovation of the Achilles Center at Union College.

The project will include the replacement of the ice refrigeration system, expansion of the ice surface, enhanced seating, new boards and glass, and renovations to the lobby and locker rooms. The renovated rink will provide a year-round ice surface.

The rink is the home of Union's two ice hockey programs – the men's team, which plays in the ECAC Div. I league; and the women's team, which this year moves to ECAC Div. I. The rink is also used by the College's intramural programs and by a number of hockey and figure skating programs from the local community.

“Frank Messa's support of Union College runs long and deep,” said President Roger Hull. “In every way Frank has been available when Union has called. His recent gift makes possible a significant enhancement for both our student-athletes and the many members of the local community who support them. The rink enhancements also make possible the year-round development of athletes from both the College and community.”

“We are deeply grateful to Frank Messa for his generous gift,” said Val Belmonte, director of athletics. “The entire Athletic Department is extremely excited to have significant enhancements made to the rink, which will be a source of pride for the entire campus. The renovations will create one of the finest venues in the ECAC, and enhance our ability to compete and recruit. Additionally, these improvements will expand our program offerings to the campus and local community.”

“Union College has been an important part of my life since I first came to the campus,” said Messa. “I am proud to be able to contribute to this project which not only benefits the College but the community.”

Messa, of Saratoga Springs, earned a bachelor's degree magna cum laude in political science from Union in 1973, and a J.D. degree from Albany Law School in 1976. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He joined Ayco, the largest fee-based financial counseling firm in the nation, in 1976. He was named Senior Vice President in 1996.

Among his many community service activities, he has been a member of the Board of Directors for United Way of Northeastern New York, a trustee of the Albany Academy for Girls, and a trustee of St. Gregory's School for Boys. He has served on the Parents Committee of the Hotchkiss School and Duke University.

As a Union alumnus, he is a former member of the Trustee Board of Advisors, class president, Alumni Council representative and national chairman of the Annual Fund. He created the Frank Messa '73 Endowed Scholarship. He recently received the Alumni Gold Medal from the College's Alumni Council.

The Messas reside in Saratoga Springs with their three children.