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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

The Washington Trust Company donates $100,000 to three major URI building projects

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 8, 1999 -- The Washington Trust Company has donated $100,000 to the University of Rhode Island to support its three highest-priority capital projects.

The gift donation from the Westerly-based bank will help fund:

The URI Convocation Center, which when built will host campus events, such as commencement and convocation, men,s and women,s basketball, concerts and major cultural events;

The transformation of Ballentine Hall, home to URI,s College of Business Administration; and

Major renovations to Green Hall, which will be transformed into a student services center.

"The University has established its capital investment priorities, and this is an excellent way to support the institution,s program of physical improvements," said Thomas M. Ryan, co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Convocation Center Steering Committee and president and chief executive officer of CVS Corporation.

"Washington Trust is a major backer of a variety of programs here at URI, from campus beautification efforts, to student scholarships, to support for women,s intercollegiate athletics," said URI President Robert L. Carothers. "The University is planning about $170 million in facilities projects within the next five years, and we have identified these three buildings as top priorities. We are grateful that Washington Trust, which involves itself in the life of the University in so many ways, has seen fit to dedicate funds to these critical investment projects," the president added.

"We,re pleased to be able to support URI with its building projects," said John C. Warren, president and chief executive officer of Washington Trust. "The University has an excellent reputation in the community and in the nation and provides an outstanding education. We have a number of employees who are alumni of URI, so it,s a nice way to support their alma mater as well."

The Ballentine Hall project, which has raised about $3.5 million, calls for $5.6 million in private donations to transform the 50,000-square foot building into a state-of-the-art business facility. Built in 1967 for a faculty of 40 and about 900 business students, it now serves 52 faculty members and 1,500 graduate and undergraduate business students per year. The project also calls for a 10,000-square foot addition, a new exterior and totally redesigned classrooms.

The Green Hall Campaign, "Restoring the Heart of the Campus," is a $1 million private fund-raising drive, which has to date brought in $600,000. Built in 1937, Green last underwent a major renovation in 1965. The campaign will help fund rehabilitated electrical systems, plumbing, walls, floors, ceilings, exterior stonework and windows. In addition to the private fund-raising drive, the state is contributing $2.8 million to refurbish one of URI,s most distinctive structures and the signature building used in its logos.

The total cost of the Convocation Center is $43.6 million. In addition, the cost for a separate two-sheet ice facility will be $7.4 million. The entire project calls for $15 million to be raised in private donations with a state match.

"This donation recognizes the three buildings that are and will be very important to academic life and campus culture here at URI," said Robert M. Beagle, vice president for University Advancement. "The people of Washington Trust feel very strongly about helping the University with its priorities. John Warren, a member of the Blue Ribbon Convocation Center Steering Committee, is not only a major supporter of that project, but also pays close attention to the academic side of the house," Beagle said.

Washington Trust has been a longtime contributor to URI,s programs, including the Foundation Ball Fund, the Winter Gala, the URI Sailing Team, the Centennial Bulb Planting Project and the Mary L. Robinson Scholarship.

Washington Trust also currently serves as the corporate sponsor for this season,s women,s basketball team. In addition, last summer Washington Trust announced its new $5,000 annual scholarship donation for URI students.

The Washington Trust Company is a Rhode Island state-chartered bank founded in 1800. The Bank offers a full range of financial services, including trust and investment management, through its offices in southern Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. The Bank is a subsidiary of Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. whose common stock trades on The Nasdaq Stock MarketSM, under the symbol, "WASH".

For Further Information: Robert M. Beagle 401-874-2291

Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116
 

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