btn_blue.gif (90 bytes)URI HomeCampusesDirectoriesFast LinksSearchHelp
URI Text Box
Davis Hall
* News Home
* Search Archives
* News Sources Directory
* University Pacer
* About Department
* Staff
orange_line.gif (36 bytes)

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

Alumni, corporations donate to art programs at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 5, 1999 -- Taming a shrew is probably easier than wrestling with a budget for the many arts programs produced, performed, and exhibited at the University of Rhode Island.

But then, Shakespeare never met Dr. Winifred Brownell, interim dean of URI,s College of Arts and Sciences.

"To sustain the level of quality of the University,s multiple arts events, I realized we needed to seek out other resources," said Brownell, noting that annually the University,s Theatre, Music and Art Departments draw thousands of people to the URI Fine Arts Center in Kingston.

"I looked around the country and saw that businesses, corporations and individuals were supporting the arts and wondered if what was being done nationally, could be done for the University," said Brownell. "The answer was a resounding Yes., Thanks to the philanthropy of law firms, businesses and our loyal alumni, URI has been not only able to attract talented local artists, but also internationally renowned performances and offer these programs at affordable prices to the public and even more importantly to our students."

During the past season, ChemArt of Lincoln, Peabody and Brown of Providence , Landes Lombardi Associates, Inc. of Cranston, Ken and Sue Kermes of Wakefield, Fred Kilguss and Nelda of Warwick, Tuition Management Systems of Newport, and Edwards & Angell of Providence have all sponsored highly-successful arts events at URI.

Kilguss, a 1959 URI alumnus and an attorney in Warwick, is helping to sponsor the URI Theatre Department,s current production of The Taming of the Shrew.

"The measure of our society is the quality of its cultural arts," said Kilguss. Kilguss said he generally supports music programs, particularly the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra. He applauds URI,s development efforts. "URI is creating a new level of giving."

Peabody & Brown, a law firm with offices in Providence, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Manchester, N.H., supported The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing an all-Mozart concert in URI,s Great Performance series last year. The firm will sponsor the first Great Performance this fall, thanks to strong recommendation of Attorney Peter Furness, a Peabody & Brown partner and a 1979 URI alumnus. Furness has long been a supporter of URI athletics, but says Brownell made a compelling case for the arts. "I was happy to recommend that my firm support the URI arts program," he says. "The University has played an important role in my and my family,s life. It has opened so many doors."

Tuition Management Systems, sponsored The Wiz. Jon Dodd, a 1984 alumnus is co-founder and senior vice president. "I took my three children and two of my brothers,. We had a blast! They,re still talking about it," says Dodd. "I,m a season ticket holder to basketball games. I love sports, but there is something about theater that gives you defining moments. You get it all"sight, song, emotion, lyrics. The company gives support so that more people will be able to experience and enjoy it."

"These generous gifts help us enrich the lives of our students, not just their academic lives," says Brownell. "The role of a University is to give students quality experiences, including those outside of the classroom."

Sponsorships range from $2,500 to $10,000, according to Tom Zorabedian, assistant director of development, Division of University Advancement. "Sponsorship of a concert, play or exhibit is an excellent opportunity to entertain customers, prospects, employees, and friends, he said. Also, businesses receive the benefit of an important donation with public exposure. In addition to program recognition, several events include a named seat in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, numerous tickets, and even a reception with the artists. There are several excellent opportunities for sponsorship of next year,s musical concerts, theater performances and arts exhibitions."

Individuals or corporations interested in sponsorships should contact Zorabedian at 401-874-2853.

For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116

URI Logo

Copyright 1999
University of Rhode Island

For more information about this site, contact
File last updated: Saturday, February 24, 2001

The University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. 
All rights reserved. URL: