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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Washington Trust invests $100,000 in URI students

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

Ram Fund participants to benefit


KINGSTON, R.I. – September 26, 2007 – The Washington Trust Charitable Foundation has made a 5-year, $100,000 commitment to support University of Rhode Island finance students enrolled in a three-credit advanced investment course.

The gift from the charitable arm of the Westerly-based bank is part of the $100 million Making a Difference capital campaign at URI, and will provide support to students who participate in the Ram Fund.

Established in the spring of 2001 with $100,000 in seed money from the URI Alumni Association, the Ram Fund gives students the opportunity to invest and manage money for the long term. Each year students compete for various positions in the Ram Fund.

Since its inception, students have said participation in the Ram Fund has been one of the defining experiences of their time at URI. The program allows them to invest real money in real firms. A course in the College of Business Administration, the Ram Fund also has its own advisory board to provide information, encouragement, advice and access to ideas and opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable to students.

The fund focuses on small and mid cap companies, and the stocks the fund currently holds or has held recently include Advance Micro Devices, Panera Bread, Citrix Systems, and Quanta Services.

With its $100,000 commitment to be paid over five years, The Washington Trust Charitable Foundation has established an endowment that will support juniors and seniors majoring in finance who participate in the Ram Fund.

“The gift to the Ram Fund is consistent with Washington Trust’s mission of community service,” said John C. Warren, chairman and chief executive officer of Washington Trust. “We are happy to provide resources for the students to engage in real-life portfolio management.”

“Those familiar with the Ram Fund know it is a first rate academic program,” said Robert M. Beagle, vice president for University Advancement. “Clearly, our friends at Washington Trust understand the value of such programs. We are grateful to the bank, which has a strong history of generous support to URI and to our students.”

Business Dean Mark Higgins said the Washington Trust gift will enhance the educational experience of our finance students. “The earnings from this endowment will allow the students to attend investment conferences, attract guest speakers and provide support for trips to visit finance alumni, the stock exchanges, and corporate trading floors in New York City,” Higgins said.

The Washington Trust gift is part of URI’s Making a Difference campaign, which seeks $100 million to recruit and retain outstanding faculty, enhance the student-centered campus experience, provide undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships, and fund cutting-edge academic and research initiatives. For more information on the campaign, click on http://www.advance.uri.edu/giving/default.htm