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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: Todd McLeish 874-7892

Family legacy of endowments at URI
extends to another generation

George Geisser IIIKINGSTON, R.I. -- January 29, 2003 -- When George Geisser III pledged to establish a scholarship endowment at the University of Rhode Island, he extended a legacy of philanthropic support to URI that goes back two generations. The extended Geisser family boasts 11 URI graduates, including his father, mother and grandfather, and now four endowed scholarships.

"I feel a part of the URI family," said Geisser, president of the East Providence-based Geisser Engineering Corp. "I’ve been to a number of URI events, and the University has included me in various activities. My company is doing well. So the time was right to make a commitment to the University."

A 1973 graduate of URI’s civil engineering program and a resident of Attleboro, Mass., Geisser established the Geisser Engineering Endowed Scholarship Fund with a pledge of $15,000. The annual scholarship will support a qualified undergraduate student pursuing a degree in civil engineering.

Geisser’s parents, George Jr. and Virginia Geisser of Riverside, established a civil engineering scholarship at URI in 1998. His aunt, Madelyn Geisser Rumowicz, established separate endowed scholarships in the names of his grandparents, George Geisser Sr. and Madelyn Grady Geisser, in 1986 and 1997 respectively.

"We all went to URI as students mainly because we knew it had a good undergraduate civil engineering program," Geisser explained, fondly recalling favorite professors like Kendall Moultrop, Everett McEwen and Henry Campbell. "The family legacy was certainly one incentive for me to establish an endowment, but it mainly came about because of my commitment to the University and all the work we’ve done there."

Geisser Engineering Corp. has played an important role in the construction of many URI buildings, including the current renovations to Ballentine Hall and Green Hall and the recently completed Ryan Center. "I remember many years ago doing the drilling myself for the Chafee Social Science Center, the Fine Arts Center, and the Roger Williams dormitory complex," said Geisser.

His grandfather, while serving as the Rhode Island state architect, supervised construction of several other URI buildings during the 1950s and ‘60s. His father, George Geisser Jr., was inducted into the URI College of Engineering Founders Club in 2001.

"The Geisser family has been a great friend to the College of Engineering for many years," said URI Senior Development Officer Robert Clough. "I appreciate George’s continued interest in and support of his alma mater, and I am grateful that many additional generations of students will benefit from his generosity."

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