Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116
URI couple builds alma maters endowment
KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 2, 2003 -- Charlestown resident David Maron can quote Emerson, discuss the theory of multiple intelligence, give a quick synopsis of the Broadway play Exonerated, and is passionate about basketball. He is, in short, a product of a liberal arts education.
"Im interested in many disciplines," agrees the 1982 University of Rhode Island alumnus, who with his wife Tracey, recently donated $25,000 to the Humanities Challenge Campaign. The endowment was created to provide competitive research fellowships for graduate students and faculty pursuing exemplary scholarship in the humanities. The endowment also helps the University expand its public speaker series for visiting humanities scholars.
"Humanities runs the gamut from politics to art, from music to history," says Maron, noting that European educational institutes tend to stress the humanities more than the U.S. "Education," says Maron who majored in history "should not just be about gathering knowledge, but obtaining wisdom."
Tracey Maron, who met her husband at URI, agrees. "Its so important to have a well-rounded education, to learn cultural, historical perspectives. The humanities give more meaning to life and help us deal with real life issues. Theres so much emphasis today on careers that this all too often gets neglected in our culture."
David Maron says his URI education prepared him to serve as vice president of his familys business, the Providence-based Maron Construction Co. "The business is not just knowing how to build something. You have to manage people from different walks of life and different backgrounds. You have to be able to talk to clients."
The Marons, parents of three daughters, have provided a number of gifts to their alma mater. They support the mens and womens basketball booster clubs, donated to the Ryan Center, supported URI Theatres 2002 production of The Laramie Project, and are contributors to the Annual Alumni Fund.
The Marons feel that URI has been under-funded and underrated for years. He says: "The University is the state University and needs to be supported. How a state funds its college is a statement about how it values education." She adds: "We received a great education and a strong foundation at URI."
On his own philosophy of philanthropy, Maron says that to him success doesnt just mean piling up money. "Money is a narrow way of judging a company or an individual. If we can help someone travel to study and broaden himself or herself, then I feel weve made a little contribution."
URI graduate student Jamie Carr, a Ph.D. candidate in English is the first beneficiary of the Marons support of the humanities. Carr is using her fellowship to travel to the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif. where she will conduct dissertation research on Christopher Isherwood.
Anyone interested in donating to the Humanities Challenge Campaign should contact Tom Zorabedian, senior development officer for the College of Arts and Sciences, 401-874-2853 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.