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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

Textron donates $300,000 to URI's Ballentine Hall project

KINGSTON, R.I.-Aug. 10, 1999 -- Textron Inc. has made a $300,000 gift to the University of Rhode Island to assist the University in its drive to rebuild the home of its College of Business Administration.

The donation from one of Rhode Island's Fortune 500 companies is earmarked for the $5.6 million Shareholders Campaign, a private fund drive to help transform Ballentine Hall into a top business education facility. The gift has pushed the amount of money raised for the Shareholders Campaign to $3.5 million. Built in 1967, the facility will gain a 10,000-square-foot addition, a new exterior and totally redesigned classrooms.

Textron is a $10 billion, global, multi-industry company with market-leading businesses in the aircraft, automotive, industrial and finance industries. Textron has a worldwide work force of more than 64,000 employees and major manufacturing facilities in 23 countries. The company employs 650 people in Rhode Island at its world headquarters, in Providence, and at Textron Financial Corporation.

To honor Textron's generosity, the University will name the entrance to the transformed Ballentine Hall, Textron Plaza. The plaza, which will face the Kingston Campus' historic Quadrangle, will be the building's new focal point and the main entrance. The plaza will be enhanced with signature sculpture, landscaping, inviting seating and signs prominently recognizing Textron's contribution to Rhode Island.

URI President Robert L. Carothers said he is grateful for Textron's support of the Ballentine campaign and for its long-standing assistance to URI.

"The University of Rhode Island has enjoyed a relationship with Textron since the company's founding years," Carothers said. "Like Textron, the College of Business Administration was founded in 1923 and, since then, Textron and URI have been strengthening Rhode Island together."

The University has educated many Textron employees over the years, and currently employs 41 alumni in Rhode Island. Six Textron staff are pursuing their master's in business administration at URI. In addition, numerous Textron leaders have spoken to URI business students and have served on University boards and councils.

"For these reasons and more, the revitalization project of the College of Business Administration's Ballentine Hall is a fitting opportunity to celebrate the long Textron/URI association," Carothers said. "It is a signature opportunity of significant meaning and will symbolize our continuing growth together."

"The University has been very important to our employees and their families," said Donald J. McGrath, director of community affairs for Textron. "All of our URI graduates are making significant contributions here, and most of them have come from the College of Business Administration."

Robert M. Beagle, URI vice president for University Advancement, added: "Throughout the course of securing this gift, we found the Textron folks willing to listen to the details of the renovation plans, and keenly aware of the role of URI business graduates within Rhode Island. Textron is one of Rhode Island's leading corporate citizens. We are delighted to have this association with them."

McGrath said the company is very much aware of the University's contributions and the positive momentum that has been building at all four of its campuses. Among the more prominent URI graduates that keep the company up-to-date are: Frank Feraco, president of Textron's Industrial Products Division, who was volunteer chair of this year's recently completed URI Annual Fund; Deborah Imondi, assistant treasurer, who serves on the College of Business Administration's Advisory Council and Lisa Whiting, manager of employment and employee relations, who serves on the Community Advisory Council for URI's Feinstein College of Continuing Education, and on the College's marketing committee.


For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116


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