Lusi Construction donates $50,000 to URI for Engineering Ambassadors Scholarship

Media Contact: Todd McLeish 874-7892

Lusi Construction donates $50,000 to URI
for Engineering Ambassadors Scholarship

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 20, 2003 — Armando F. “Gus” Lusi doesn’t like to lose touch. “I know some people don’t maintain ties with their alma mater or their old friends, but that’s not me. I like to stay connected,” said the founder of Smithfield-based A.F. Lusi Construction, Inc.

The 1947 graduate of the University of Rhode Island has solidified his ties to his alma mater even more with a recent donation of $50,000 for the establishment of the A.F. Lusi Construction Engineering Ambassadors Scholarship.

“My time at URI gave me a lot and really determined my whole future,” said Lusi, a Johnston resident. “So now I’m giving back a little.”

The new endowment will provide twelve $500 scholarships per semester to deserving students who will serve as ambassadors for the URI College of Engineering by helping to recruit students, promote the college, and provide tours for visitors and alumni. The scholarship recipients will also represent the college at a wide range of campus events and programs.

“The Engineering Ambassadors will be a group of students who have demonstrated high scholastic achievement and leadership skills and who I can point to as representative of the high quality students we have here in the College of Engineering,” explained Bahram Nassersharif, dean of the college. “Thanks to Gus Lusi’s generosity, we’re now able to launch this important effort to showcase the college.”

A member of the URI College of Engineering’s Founders Club and a trustee of the URI Foundation, Lusi entered URI in 1942, but his education was interrupted by a two-year stint in the Army.

“I was part of the first ‘accelerated’ class at what was then called Rhode Island State College,” he said. “After Pearl Harbor, they decided to have students go to school three semesters each year — straight through the summer — instead of two semesters a year so we could finish our educations sooner and go into the service. So I graduated in three years, though there were two years in the middle when I was in the service.”

Soon after graduation, Lusi started his construction company, which has grown to become one of the leading general contractors in the state and is now managed by his son. The company has been involved in a number of major construction projects at URI over the years, including the Fine Arts Center in the 1970s, the Chester Kirk Center for Advanced Technology and a major addition to the library in the 1990s, and the Bradford R. Boss Ice Arena, the state’s premier ice rink which was completed in 2002.

“Gus Lusi has been a long-time supporter of URI and the College of Engineering, and this new endowment will ensure that he remains part of the URI family for many years to come,” said Robert Clough, senior development officer for the college. “We’re grateful for his commitment and his generosity.”