Michael Kakos and Aimee Kakos Give $15 Million Gift to Manhattan College’s School of Science

Gift will support what will now be known as the Aimee and Michael Kakos '58 School of Science at Manhattan College.

Aimee and Michael Kakos and Brother Daniel GardnerManhattan College has announced that Michael Kakos ’58, and Aimee Kakos, have given the college a $15 million gift to increase student scholarships and grants, support innovative teaching and research, and enhance and diversify learning opportunities within Manhattan College's School of Science. 

The gift is a continuation of the Kakoses’ generous giving to Manhattan College, which began when Michael graduated in 1958. The College’s School of Science will now be known as Aimee and Michael Kakos '58 School of Science (Kakos School of Science).

"We are incredibly proud to support Michael’s alma mater, Manhattan College," said Michael Kakos and Aimee Kakos. "This gift will help nurture the next generation of innovators, giving them the tools and opportunities to make a profound difference in the world. The experiences Michael had on this campus shaped him as a person and set him on the path toward a successful career. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to give back to our beloved Manhattan College community."

The Kakoses' $15 million gift to the School of Science will provide a wide variety of opportunities for Manhattan College. The gift will provide needs-based academic scholarships for students pursuing undergraduate degrees in a STEM field, scholarships for students to study abroad, funds to support the research and scientific discovery interests of undergraduate students, grants to support innovative academic and research ideas and projects within the School of Science, and money to modernize the school’s equipment, laboratories, and other facilities. The gift will be paid out over several years.

"This transformative gift will take our School of Science to a whole new level, further establishing Manhattan College as a premier destination for students looking to pursue an undergraduate degree in a STEM field,” said Brother Daniel Gardner, FSC, President of Manhattan College. “Under the leadership of our new dean, Marcy Peteroy-Kelly, Ph.D, exciting times lie ahead at Manhattan College’s Kakos School of Science.  We are extremely grateful to Michael and Aimee for their steadfast generosity in supporting students, faculty, and programs at Manhattan College."

After graduating with a degree in chemistry from Manhattan College in 1958, Michael Kakos was awarded a fellowship to Niagara University, where he earned his M.S. in chemistry. Later, he received an M.S. in industrial engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He began his career in materials research, first in metals and then in ceramics. Michael then went into plastics, working at Celanese Corporation.

Eventually, his skills and ambitions led him out of the lab – where he earned several foreign and domestic patents – and into sales and marketing. He traveled the globe before moving to London, where he settled for over 4 decades. Michael founded Resin Express in 1987, which distributed engineering thermoplastic raw materials for major worldwide producers and suppliers. Aimee joined the company in 1989, eventually rising to company director. Her education and teaching background were integral to the success of the business. They sold the company in 1997.

The gift builds on the Kakoses’ tremendous philanthropic work at Manhattan College. They have funded major initiatives including the Michael ’58 and Aimee Rusinko Kakos Study Abroad Scholarship, the Michael J. and Aimee Rusinko Kakos Endowed Scholarship for Cardinal Hayes High School graduates, the Kakos’ Center for Scientific Computing, the Michael J. and Aimee Rusinko Kakos Endowed Chair in Science, and a named site in the Raymond W. Kelly ’63 Student Commons. The Kakoses’ are also generous supporters of Aimee’s alma mater, Pennsylvania State University, and many other charities.

"On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank Michael and Aimee Kakos for this incredible gift. The Kakoses’ have long been generous donors to Manhattan College, and this gift underlines their commitment to providing students with the tools and experiences they need to make a difference in the world,” said Thomas D. O’Malley ’63, Chairman of Manhattan College’s Board of Trustees.

This gift will support our new vision for the school to build our community of student and faculty scholars through the development of innovative academic programming and research opportunities for students and the enhancement of our teaching and research facilities. On behalf of everyone at the Kakos School of Science, I want to thank the Kakoses’ for their generosity,” said Marcy Peteroy-Kelly, Ph.D., Dean of the Kakos School of Science.

By David Koeppel