URI Alumni Association plans 13th Winter Gala

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 401-874-2116

HBO executive & wife to chair
biggest fundraising event

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 13, 2003 — The University of Rhode Island Alumni Association is gearing up for its 13th Winter Gala, planned for Saturday, Jan. 31, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency in Newport.

URI alumni Tom Cerio, class of 1976 and his wife Donna Arnold, class of 1976 and master’s class of 1978, are delighted to chair this popular event. The gala generally attracts about 600 alumni and friends of the University and raises about $100,000 for student scholarships.

Cerio assumed his new position as executive vice president of program distribution at HBO in March. Before being lured back to the East Coast by HBO, Cerio was an executive vice president and national sales manager at Buena Vista Television, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co. in Los Angeles.

The couple recently moved to Greenwich, Conn. and lost no time reconnecting with their alma mater. Arnold, who put her successful banking career on hold (she was a vice president at J.P. Morgan) to raise their two sons, has been busy attending gala meetings and spreading the word about URI. “There have been a lot of changes at URI in the last 10 years that I think alums would really like to see,” she said.

The gala will feature the “Nancy Paolino and Black Tie” band, which will provide the tunes for a festive night of dancing.

Winter Gala tickets are $100 per person, which includes a cocktail hour, sumptuous sit-down dinner, dancing, and auction and raffle excitement. Tickets for the Winter Gala and VIP Pre-Gala Reception are $175 per person, which includes an open bar, extraordinary hors d’oeuvres and a sneak auction preview in addition to the gala.

The Hyatt Regency is offering a special $93 rate per room per night for Winter Gala guests who want to extend the festivities by spending the weekend in Newport. People interested in doing so, should contact the hotel, 401-851-1234, by Dec. 31.

Caution: The Winter Gala is normally a sold-out event. Alumni and friends of the University are advised to make their reservations early by calling Jessie Kenyon at 401-874-4853 or by registering on-line by clicking onto advance.uri.edu/alumni/wintergala/default.htm.