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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

Loyal alumni to chair URI’s humanities campaign

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 21, 2002 --"There’s a lot more to life than getting up in the morning and going to bed at night," says University of Rhode Island alumnus Mark Ross of Warwick. "The humanities show us how we can live throughout the day."

Ross, newly retired vice president of Ross Simons Jewelers, recently agreed to co-chair URI’s Center for the Humanities Campaign with Shannon Chandley of Amherst, N.H.

Both Ross and Chandley have already made a generous donation to the $500,000 endowment campaign, designed to augment URI’s Center for the Humanities by funding scholarships, fellowships, and visiting humanities scholars.

"I’m committed," says Ross who earned an economics degree from URI in 1964. "It’s such a worthy cause. Humanities give you a more balanced perspective on life and expands your horizons."

"We need to help fund humanities research," added Chandley who graduated from URI with a dual degree in English and history in 1983. "The Center not only serves the College of Arts and Sciences, but the entire University and beyond."

Giving a helping hand is nothing new to these loyal alumni. Ross supported the College of Business Administration’s Shareholders Campaign for Ballentine Hall, home to the business college. And he established a scholarship for undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences. He and his wife Donna, who was made an honorary alum this past spring by the URI Alumni Association, have chaired the Alumni Association’s Winter Gala and co-chaired its auction committee.

Chandley and her husband Tom Silvia, a 1983 engineering alumnus, donated money to the Ryan Center and also established a memorial scholarship for liberal arts undergraduate students.

Both Ross and Chandley serve on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s External Advisory Board. In fact, Chandley serves as its current chair. Winifred Brownell, dean of Arts & Sciences, whose College houses the Center for the Humanities, expressed excitement about the involvement of Chandley and Ross. "We’re delighted," enthused Brownell, "to have two such outstanding and dedicated alumni co-chair this important endowment campaign. With their leadership, we know that we will be able to achieve our goal and ensure a bright future for the humanities at URI. "

"Tom and I are pleased with the education we received from URI and had a wonderful time while there. We’re happy to give back," says Chandley.

Ross echoes his co-chairs sentiments: "Donna and I try to help wherever we can."

Any donor who donates $1,000 or more will be given permanent recognition on a plaque created for the Center for the Humanities. Naming opportunities for faculty and graduate student fellowships, speaker program, and more are available. For more information, contact Tom Zorabedian, senior development officer for the College of Arts and Sciences, at 401-874-2853.

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