URI grad deposits $37,000 coin collection in coffers of Ballentine Hall campaign

KINGSTON, R.I. — February 24, 1999 — As Gary W. Kullberg opened his display albums containing 6,000 rare United States coins, during a visit to the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus, he was struck by history—his, his country’s and his University’s. Kullberg, a 1963 graduate of URI’s College of Business Administration, was on campus to donate his coin collection worth $37,000 to the College’s Shareholders Campaign to transform Ballentine Hall. “My father paid for most of my education and this seemed to be an appropriate tribute to him,” said Kullberg whose own love of coin collecting began at his father’s arm. “Dad collected the coins, and I kind of dabbled in it for a while before I took it seriously,” said Kullberg, a native of White Plains, N.Y. “My father gave so much to me, and I want to link his generosity to a University that gave me so much.” Edward M. Mazze, dean of the College of Business Administration, said the collection is a very special gift. “It is fantastic because it is part of Americana,” Mazze said. “We are receiving a gift from one of our most distinguished graduates who wants to honor his father and leave a legacy for our students.” The Kullberg Collection includes coins dating to 1857. The coins,mostly in high end grades of uncirculated condition, include examples of all U.S. series from cents through silver dollars. Most series are complete as todate and mint mark, and are contained in display albums. “Coins themselves are miniature history books,” Kullberg said. “Beyond speculating on where an individual coin from the 1800s has been and what it has seen, coins teach us about the political, social, economic and art history of the particular period. And, in the late 1980s, their rapidly growing economic value nearly led Wall Street to publish their values on a weekly basis.” An examination of the coins reveals the entrepreneurial spirit and mores of the country during each era, Kullberg said. “In 1916, the Liberty Quarter outraged the public because one of Miss Liberty’s breast’s was showing. It had to be redesigned the next year.” “President Teddy Roosevelt brought in designers to design coins during his presidency,” Kullberg said. Kullberg said the themes of history and value all tie in with the effort to transform Ballentine Hall into a state-of-the-art business facility. Four years ago, Kullberg, who is moving his Kullberg Consulting Group from New York to Rhode Island, helped develop the College’s theme, “The Value Investment for Today and Tomorrow” and an accompanying brochure. Kullberg, who now splits his time between New York and Narragansett, R.I., is the chief executive officer of a marketing and marketing communications consultancy consisting of more than 50 companies. “The coins reflect that theme,” Kullberg said “The collection offers students another tangible opportunity to learn about commerce and its relationship with American life.” Cameron Jones, URI assistant director of development, said Kullberg’s gift is a great example of the different ways individuals can contribute to the Shareholders Campaign. “This is a very thoughtful and beautiful gift,” Jones said. “I am sure the College will benefit from a collection with such historicsignificance.” The Shareholders Campaign is a drive to raise $5.6 million in private donations to transform Ballentine Hall. To date, nearly $3.5 million has been raised. Built in 1967, the facility will gain a 10,000-square-foot addition, a new exterior and totally redesigned classrooms.