American Airlines honors retiring CEO with
matching gift to URI
KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 22, 1999 -- When American Airlines held a retirement
party to honor Robert L. Crandall for 25 years of service, it wanted to
recognize his commitment to the company and to education in a special way.
During the fall party in Dallas, the home of American, the airline pledged
$125,000 to the University of Rhode Island, which matched a donation made
a year earlier by Crandall, retired chairman and chief executive officer.
American,s and Crandall,s donations total $250,000 for the drive to transform
Ballentine Hall. The goal of the fund drive, titled the Shareholders Campaign,
is to raise $5.6 million in private donations to transform the College of
Business Administration,s home on the Kingston Campus. To date, nearly $3.5
million has been raised toward that goal.
The College will name a tiered classroom in honor of Crandall, a 1960
graduate of the College who grew up in Westerly.
"Bob has always been very interested in education, and we thought
this was appropriate recognition of his many contributions to our company,
said Tom Kiernan, senior vice president of human resources at American Airlines.
"This is something meaningful on which he can reflect during his retirement.
Kiernan said Crandall,s philosophy was one that emphasized communication.
"He loves to write, Kiernan said.
Crandall was pleased by American,s pledge in his honor, noting that "it
was a wonderful gift entirely consistent with my interest in education in
general and the University in particular.
Crandall said he made the initial $125,000 donation because "the
University made a great contribution to moving me along in life. I went
to several schools, and Rhode Island is my home state and the University
is my home base so to speak.
"It was instrumental in launching my career, he said. "That
influenced me to contribute and to come back to campus.
He said he has enjoyed returning as an Executive In Residence, as a speaker
at the University,s CEO Forum and as a member of the College,s Advisory
"It is both fun and very useful to stay in touch to learn what the
current generation of students is thinking, Crandall said.
"I certainly think the Business College is moving in the right direction,
Crandall added. "Frank Budnick did an excellent job as interim dean
and Ed Mazze is off to a great start.
Since last July, the College,s new dean, Dr. Edward M. Mazze, has been
leading a "full force effort to raise the remaining funds needed to
close the Shareholders Campaign for the renovation of Ballentine Hall.
"I am 100 percent committed to this renovation, Mazze said. "A
new Ballentine Hall is critical to ensuring that the University,s College
of Business Administration becomes New England,s center for management education.
Cameron Jones, URI assistant director of development who works with the
College of Business Administration, applauded the generosity of both Crandall
and American Airlines. "We really appreciate all of Bob,s efforts on
behalf of the College, and the decision by one of this country,s great airlines
to match Bob,s gift. Their combined gift of $250,000 gives the Shareholders
Campaign some great momentum.
The Shareholders Campaign, is a drive to support the transformation of
the 50,000-square-foot Ballentine Hall. Built in 1967, the facility will
gain a 10,000-square-foot addition, a new exterior and totally redesigned