Frank Csapo came to America to pursue his own dreams. He has since helped more than 160 students pursue theirs, too.

By Carol Marcy

When Frank Csapo was 20 years old, he arrived in Montreal, Canada, from Europe wearing a label on his lapel with his sponsor’s address because he didn’t know English. He had left his homeland in Hungary to flee post-revolution and political turmoil.

By 1962, he settled in Avon, N.Y., where he built a life while developing a construction business and owning and operating the Ambassador Apartments, a popular off-campus housing option for Geneseo students. Csapo got to know the village, the College and its students. His son, Frank Csapo ’84, and daughter, Julia Helga Reitz ’95, are both graduates. He has come to appreciate his relationship with the community and is one of the College’s most passionate philanthropists.

“Geneseo is a great school,” said Csapo. “Students get a good education.”

Csapo’s latest gift of $100,000 to the College establishes the Csapo Family Endowment to support student engagement and high-impact practices to develop, expand and facilitate educational programs and experiences for students.

During the last several decades, he has given back to the College with annual scholarships and financial support for a range of programs. More than 160 students have benefited from his generosity and commitment to providing students with opportunities to succeed and pursue their dreams.

Csapo’s support will long be a catalyst for many Geneseo students like Peter Wayner ’11. Wayner received Csapo’s Ambassador Apartments Endowed Scholarship in Journalism. Today, he’s the production supervisor at Dixon Schwabl, an integrated marketing agency in Rochester, N.Y. He writes, edits and shoots documentary-style videos for clients across the country.

“What that scholarship did for me was give me the freedom to focus on academics — to think about what I actually wanted to do while I was in school without stressing about the bottom line,” said Wayner. “It’s extremely important. It’s the greatest gift anybody could give a student.”

Wayner has held several positions in the communications field — copywriter, content manager, public relations executive, brand journalist and videographer. But what he loves most is storytelling. “My mass communication and journalism courses at Geneseo sparked my interest in media and the real power and responsibility that comes with storytelling,” he said.

Csapo sees the good in helping others like Wayner achieve their dreams, too. “It feels good to know I am making a difference in the lives of students,” he said.