URI announces $1.4 Million in new gifts for
URI Convocation Center
KINGSTON, R.I. -- November 16, 1999 -- Just as the new season of men's
and women's basketball gets under way at the University of Rhode Island,
the URI Convocation Center Campaign is in full swing and showing strong
Nine months into the three-year campaign, and just entering the "public"
phase of the fund-raising effort, URI President Robert L. Carothers and
Thomas M. Ryan, chairman and chief executive officer of CVS Corp. announced
today that $1.4 million in new gifts have been made to the $15 million private
fund-raising drive for the Convocation Center. The recent gifts bring the
total raised to $7.06 million, which is 47 percent of the overall goal,
for the campaign which began in February.
The latest round of pledges was spearheaded by a URI Foundation gift
of $400,000, a Providence Journal Charitable Foundation gift of $100,000
and three other gifts of $100,000 or more. A total of 52 gifts has been
received toward the campaign, with 13 gifts of $100,000 or more, 18 of $10,000
or more, and 21 others of various amounts.
"The extraordinary success of this campaign as we move into the
more public phase provides a firm foundation upon which we will now continue
to build," said Ryan, who co-chairs the project's Blue Ribbon Steering
Committee, established to lead the private fund-raising drive with Gov.
Lincoln C. Almond (URI '59). "At this juncture, the corps of volunteers
led by my fellow alum, Joe Formicola (URI '69), as head of the Major Gifts
Committee, will fan out to meet with the more than 400 potential individual
and corporate donors they have identified. I'm certain these volunteers
will be met with the same warmth and enthusiasm that each of the initial
and recent donors to the Convocation Center has shown through their generosity."
"The strong support for the new Convocation Center as evidenced
by these recent gifts clearly shows that this is the right time for the
University to capture the Keaney spirit in a new venue," said URI President
Robert L. Carothers. "Early in the next century, the new Convocation
Center will unmistakably reflect the pride of our students, alumni, business
leaders, elected officials, and our friends as it opens its doors to the
University community and the state."
Recent support for the project has come from Rhode Island businesses,
alumni and friends of the University. Among the recent donors are:
- Blair J. Barbieri '61 of Narragansett, and his sons Ralph '83,
and James '84;
- Frank N. Caruso '67 of Bristol, who is a member of the Convocation
Center Campaign's Major Gifts Committee;
- Gerald Cohen '62 of East Greenwich, president of Die Tech Industries,
Ltd. of Providence, who is also a Major Gifts Committee member;
- The Considine Family, including William, Sr., William, Jr. '55 and
Robert '60. Considine is head of Wayne Distributors in Cranston;
- Frank J. '69 and Joan '70 Feraco of Providence, Mr. Feraco is
president of Textron Industrial Products in Providence and a member of
the Leadership Gifts Committee;
- Paul M. '51 and Janet '57 Fradin of Providence, Mr. Fradin is
president of the Charles Fradin, Inc.-Copley Distributors;
- George Graboys Hon.'92 of Providence, former chairman and chief
executive officer of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., and URI adjunct professor
- Dr. Douglas M. '67 and Arlene Mellion of Cranston;
- H. Douglas Randall '71 of Charlestown, owner of HD Randall Realtors/Better
Homes and Gardens;
- Anthony J. Rose Jr. '54 and his wife, Kathleen, of Wakefield.
Mr. Rose is president and CEO of Technical Industries in Peace Dale, and
Leadership Gifts Committee member;
- Westerly Area Friends of URI Athletics (WAFURIA), a group of supporters
in the Westerly area;
- Alan H. Wasserman '75 of Cranston, a Major Gifts Committee member
and president of the URI Alumni Association; and
- Maurice Zarchen '49 of Kingston, former URI director of athletics
and president of WorldTek Travel of Barrington.
"This level of response and commitment clearly indicates how receptive
our alumni and friends are toward the Convocation Center project,"
said Robert M. Beagle, vice president of URI's Division of University Advancement,
which is heading the campaign. "At the same time, many of these and
other donors have also continued to support critical campaigns for renovations
of our academic buildings, and annual giving campaigns. Overall, the level
of support shown here is consistent with the overall increased level of
giving we have seen at the University over the past eight years," Beagle
Financing for the $43.6 million Convocation Center project will include
$15 million in private gifts, $18 million in state appropriations, and $10.6
million in revenue bonds. The project also calls for a separate ice skating
The Convocation Center, the largest building project ever at URI, is
designed to host basketball games and other athletic contests, in addition
to major University celebrations, such as commencement and convocation ceremonies,
alumni programs, concerts, and major cultural events. The Center will seat
8,000, and in a given year, is expected to host 30 men's and women's basketball
games and about 50 other events.
Groundbreaking for the project is expected to be held this spring, with
project completion slated for the fall of 2002. Gilbane Building Co. is
the project's program manager, and HOK Sport, a Kansas City architectural
and engineering firm, is the architect.
URI long ago outgrew its largest venue, Keaney Gymnasium, which was completed
in 1953 for a student body of 2,183. The University now enrolls about 10,700
undergraduate and 3,600 graduate students, and has about 2,500 employees.
For More Information: Linda Acciardo or Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-2116