May

SHU Alumnus Named Barnum Festival Ringmaster

News Story: May 1, 2011
Armando Goncalves '75, 
2011 Barnum Festival Ringmaster
Photo courtesy of the CT Post/Ned Gerard

Armando Goncalves ‘75 lists his education at Sacred Heart University (SHU) among the reasons for his successful 36-year at People’s United Bank and for his role as this year’s Barnum Festival Ringmaster.

“I started working at the bank right out of college. In fact, I worked there part time as a teller while I was still in school,” said Goncalves, who earned a teaching degree with a minor in business at SHU. “I was looking for a teaching job, and the bank asked me to join their Retail Management Training Program. I became a branch manager after completing that program.” Goncalves is now president of the bank’s Southern Connecticut and Westchester County regions.

He said his time at SHU also set him on the road to politics and volunteerism. He served as a student government senator at the University and was elected a Bridgeport alderman soon after he graduated and served in that role for six years.

“Sacred Heart was a great place for its students. The classes were small, and the professors were engaging. I am very proud to be a graduate of Sacred Heart. I consider it to be the foundation of my career and community work.”

Goncalves, who grew up in Bridgeport, said even back in college, he was a volunteer. As a student, he worked for Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABCD) and the Portuguese Vasco da Gama Cultural and Civic Center. Since then, some of the many organizations that have benefited from his support include Rotary (past president), Portuguese-American Civic League (past president), Fairfield Public Education Foundation (past board member), Bridgeport YMCA (past board member), Bridgeport Regional Business Council (current board member), Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises, Inc. (current board member and past chairman), Swim Across the Sound Foundation, United Way of Eastern Fairfield County (past board member) and more.

He is also a past board member of the Barnum Festival, Inc., which leads us to today. “Some folks came to me and asked me to think about serving as ringmaster. After both my family and the bank promised to support me, I accepted.”

Goncalves is also receiving support from SHU. The University is a primary sponsor of this year’s Ringmaster Ball on June 4. “I am so grateful that this school has given me so much and continues to support me,” he said.

He is excited about the upcoming Barnum Festival events – in particular, the Champions on Parade, Great Street Parade and fireworks, scheduled for July 2 and 3. “I am personally inviting everyone in the Sacred Heart University family – students, professors, staff and alumni – to come out for as many Barnum Festival events as possible. You won’t be disappointed.”