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HBO executive, J.P. Morgan official named Parents Fund chairs

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

Husband-and-wife team head effort to boost component of Annual Fund

KINGSTON, R.I. -- November 23, 2005 -- The University of Rhode Island has named a couple with outstanding business careers and a strong record of service to chair its Parents Fund for the 2005-2006 academic year.

Tom Cerio, executive vice president of program distribution at HBO, and his wife Donna Arnold, a former vice president at J.P. Morgan, will chair the fund, which is part of the Annual Fund, the University’s premiere annual unrestricted giving program.

“One of the philosophies my husband and I have always had is to give back,” said Arnold. “We had a great experience at URI, and it prepared us in so many ways for our careers. Chairing the Parents Fund is a great opportunity, and it’s even more meaningful because our son is a student here.”

Cerio, a 1976 graduate of URI’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences and Arnold, a 1976 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, have a vested interest in the fund: their son Dominic is a freshman at URI.

A few years ago, Arnold and Cerio moved to Connecticut from the West Coast where Cerio was an executive vice president and national sales manager for Buena Vista Television, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co. The couple lost no time in reconnecting to URI. They chaired one of the University’s biggest fund raisers, the 2004 Winter Gala.

“They were very involved in the Winter Gala and we wanted to keep such committed, energetic people involved in the University,” said Annual Fund Director Sarah Howard. “They are generous donors and have been very supportive of campus beautification efforts.”

Arnold is also an adviser to the Ram Fund, an investment program established by the Alumni Association that gives URI students real experience managing investments in the stock market, and a member of the URI Communications Advisory Council.

URI News Bureau photo by Nora Lewis