URI alumni convert deep feelings for Green Hall into financial support

KINGSTON, R.I. — October 14, 1998–Recent donors to the Green Hall Campaign, Restoring the Heart of the Campus, have different reasons for giving to the fund. But they all share a common desire to help preserve the historic structures at the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus. Each of the donors has also played a role in giving an early boost to the drive. In just three-and-a-half months, $380,000, or 32 percent of the $1.2 million private fund-raising goal has been raised. Mark Ross, of Warwick, a 1964 graduate, said he donated to the campaign because he feels strongly about the physical plant of the University. “It’s nice to preserve what you can from past years, and modernize with new facilities so that you have a balance of old and new,” said Ross, vice president of Ross-Simons Inc., who is also a regular donor to the University. John Pickup, class of 1952 and a resident of Warwick, made a pledge to the campaign. A biology major with a focus on entomology who sold pesticides and other chemicals as a successful career, Pickup is grateful for what URI has given him. “My degree was perfect for the time and circumstances of my career,” he said. “The preparation was great. That’s why I give back.” Steve Campanella, a 1943 graduate and now a resident of Ligonier, Pa., couldn’t attend the summer kickoff of the Green Hall campaign so he enclosed a donation in a letter to the campaign chair. A mechanical engineering alumnus, who worked at Westinghouse and Emerson Electric Co., Campanella said he could not let down his former college roommate, Henry Nardone, the chairman of the Green Hall drive. Daniel R. Barry, URI assistant director of development and Green Hall project manager, said he wasn’t surprised by the support. “These individuals have always given enormously of their time, their energy and their resources to the University as a whole. When the time came to support one of the most important buildings on campus, they didn’t hesitate to come to URI’s aid once again.” Caroline Kaull and her husband, Don, also donated to Green Hall. She joked that she and her husband are too young to have experienced the building when it housed the library and the administrative offices from the 1930s through the 1950s. But Caroline said she volunteered to serve on the campaign committee and made a donation because of the tradition that Green represents. “It’s just a premiere building that, with the other original buildings on the quadrangle, makes this campus so unique,” Kaull said. Caroline, who travels to many other college campuses when Don does commentary for Rams’ basketball radio broadcasts, said URI’s beauty competes with any of them. “Last year, we went to Stanford and that is a beautiful, expansive campus, but its quadrangle is not as pretty as ours.” Kaull, of Portsmouth, said it’s important to preserve the original structures. “I don’t want to stand by and let these buildings deteriorate,” she added. Kaull also said since she and her husband are such big supporters of URI athletics, they will also be donating to the convocation center drive. “It is important to support all areas of the University,” Kaull said. Mary Gray, a 1952 graduate of URI, and her husband Walter, also are big boosters of the University in many areas. So it wasn’t surprising that the Kingston couple made a generous donation to the drive. “Green Hall is important to me, and I remember it so well as a student,” she said. “You don’t want to lose the historic features of the campus; they are so important to the older alumni.” Built in 1937, Green last underwent a major renovation in 1965. The campaign will help fund rehabilitated electrical systems, plumbing, walls, floors, ceilings, exterior stonework and windows. In addition to the private fund-raising drive, the state is contributing $2.8 million to refurbish one of URI’s most distinctive structures. -xxx- For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116