University News

Dean and Denise Vanech to be Keynote Speakers at Western New England University's Graduate and Professional Degree Commencement Ceremony May 19

Published: May 03, 2019 | Categories: Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Law, All News
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Western New England University will confer Doctoral, Law, Pharmacy, and Master's degrees during its 2019 Graduate Centennial Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 19 at 2:00 p.m. in the Alumni Healthful Living Center on campus. Degree candidates will receive their diplomas and traditional degree hoods. Dean N. '82 and Denise E. '84 Vanech will be this year's keynote speakers and will be awarded the prestigious President's Medallion for their commitment and dedication to philanthropy.

Distinguished alumni of Western New England University, the Vanechs are among the University's most generous individual donors. Through the years, they have established an endowed scholarship in memory of Mr. Vanech's father, Nicholas Vanech, for students who have overcome hardship and seek financial aid. The Health Services suite in the Center for Sciences and Pharmacy was named in honor of Mrs. Vanech's mother, Joan Evon, whom the Vanechs memorialized through a generous gift. When the St. Germain Campus Center is renovated, their name will also be proudly displayed on a newly created Student Advising Center. This Center will facilitate holistic advising between students and their team of faculty, peer, career, and professional advisors, ensuring a pathway to success in life after college.

Mr. Vanech graduated with a BSBA in Marketing, and is the founder, Chair, and CEO of Olympus Holdings, LLC, a privately held firm based in Morristown, NJ, engaged in electrical energy, entertainment, and commercial finance.

Through its entertainment related activities, Olympus Theatricals actively produces both plays and musicals on Broadway in New York City and in London's West End, having recently participated in such acclaimed works as Network, Ain't Too Proud, Carousel, and Dreamgirls, along with many others. In addition, from 2006 until 2015, Olympus Pictures produced numerous independent films, including the successful Beginners, Rabbit Hole, and Adam.

Mr. Vanech founded Delta Power Company in 1997, which became a leading privately owned independent power producer that owned and operated more than $3 billion of assets comprising 32 power plants and 3,000 megawatts of electricity across the U.S. Delta Power was sold in 2007, when Mr. Vanech formed Olympus Power to continue efforts in electricity production with an emphasis on environmentally beneficial projects.

Olympus Capital Investments, established to provide growth equity to emerging and established middle market companies, owns J.W. Hulme, one of the oldest leather goods companies in the U.S., as well as other investments in various industries.

Prior to forming Delta Power and Olympus Holdings, Mr. Vanech worked for a number of multi-national companies including Unilever, Enserch/TXU, and Rolls-Royce plc.

He has served on a number of nonprofit boards, many of which he has chaired, including the New York Stage & Film Company, the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, and Citizen Schools New York.

Denise Vanech earned her BSBA in Human Resource Management at Western New England. She is a philanthropist with several years of experience in human resources at Nabisco, American Express Company, and Combustion Engineering. Mrs. Vanech serves on the Board of J.W. Hulme, and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Marist College. Together with her husband, she is a trustee of the Vanech Family Foundation. The foundation was established in 2003 and supports education, human services, and performing arts programs.

For more information on Commencement, visit or to view a live streaming video of the Commencement ceremonies visit