URI takes the $500,000 Kresge Challenge

KINGSTON, R.I.-October 18, 1999 — The University of Rhode Island has been issued a challenge by one of the most prestigious private foundations in the country-raise $2 million in private donations in a year-and-a-half and it will award URI a $500,000 grant. URI officials accepted with confidence the Kresge Challenge, saying individual donors recognize that a University receiving such a grant is considered an institution moving in the right direction. They also said the grant is expected to maximize individual gifts, since donors will know that if they complete the fund drives to rehabilitate Ballentine and Green halls , Kresge will provide $500,000. If URI meets its goal prior to the deadline, then Kresge will make the grant payment early, according to Richard Dunlap, senior program officer at Kresge. Dunlap said institutions receiving Kresge grants consider them a mark of prestige because The Foundation’s review process is stringent. “It requires the institution to be sound, the project to be consistent with the institution’s mission, and thirdly, the fund-raising plan must contain elements that improve fund-raising elements throughout the University. “Our trustees are not just interested in building buildings, but in building fund-raising capacity,” Dunlap said. “The buildings are a tool that kick the fund-raising efforts up a notch. When the campaign is over, the institution will have the ability to raise more money on an annual basis.” URI is among an exclusive Kresge Challenge club that includes,Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio; Monmouth University in New Jersey and Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. Richard Harrington, president of the Thomson Corp., and chairman of the “URI Shareholders Campaign for Ballentine Hall,” said the Kresge Challenge recognizes in a strong way the achievements that have and will continue to be realized by the students and faculty of URI. “I believe the title of The Kresge Foundation award program, ‘Challenge Grant,’ befits the spirit of URI’s students, faculty, administration and alumni,” said Harrington, a 1973 URI graduate. “I am confident the URI family will rise to the occasion and meet the challenge of The Kresge Foundation.” Henry Nardone, of Westerly, chairman of “The Campaign for Green Hall, Restoring the Heart of the Campus,” said, “I’ve had some experience with Kresge, and they are demanding, thorough and complete, so I feel great that we got a half million dollars. It’s going to be a boost for both campaigns, but primarily the University as a whole,” said Nardone who is a 1946 graduate of URI. Nardone said he knows of one alumnus who made a major donation to the Ballentine Hall project last year, and when Nardone asked him to help out with Green, the grad said he’d help out this year. “Now I have an incentive to solicit him and he has incentive to give to Green because of this additional $500,000,” Nardone said. URI President Robert L. Carothers has confidence the University will come through as it did in recent years when raising $67 million in its first-ever capital campaign, $17 million more than the original goal. “Already, we’ve had major private support from our alumni and friends for these two building projects,” Carothers said. “My pride in the University grows yet again with the welcome news of a Challenge Grant from The Kresge Foundation. “This prestigious and most public recognition of the University’s excellence is gratifying. It will have influence that far surpasses the successful completion of our fund-raising campaigns for the renovations of Ballentine and Green halls.” Built in 1967, Ballentine Hall is the home of the state’s oldest nationally accredited business school-the URI College of Business Administration. “The Shareholders Campaign” will fund a 10,000-square-foot addition, a new exterior and totally redesigned classrooms. Green Hall, which was built in 1937 and is the University’s signature building, will undergo a complete top to bottom renovation, is slated to become a student services center. From January 1999 to September 1999, The Kresge Foundation had awarded 165 grants for a total of $88.2 million. In 1998, The Foundation reviewed 599 proposals and awarded grants totaling $106 million. Grants are made to institutions operating in the areas of higher education, health and long-term care, arts and humanities, human services, science and the environment and public affairs. While the latest Kresge grant is the largest for URI, it is not the first. In 1965, Kresge made a $20,000 Challenge Grant to assist the University Library. Kresge grants are targeted at projects involving construction, renovation of facilities and the purchase of major capital equipment or real estate. The Kresge Foundation, an independent, private foundation was created in 1924 by Sebastian S. Kresge. Although Kresge founded the S.S. Kresge Co., now known as Kmart, The Foundation is not affiliated or associated with that or any other corporation. The Foundation’s offices are located in Troy, Mich., about 22 miles from Detroit. -xxx- For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116