Hasbro’s Verrecchia pledges $250,000 gift to University of Rhode Island

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KINGSTON, RI-July 23, 2008-The University of Rhode Island Foundation today announced that Al Verrecchia, Chairman of Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based Hasbro, Inc., and his wife, Gerrie, have pledged a $250,000 gift to the University of Rhode Island. The gift is part of the University’s Making A Difference capital campaign.

The Verrecchia’s gift will fund a challenge grant that will match, dollar-for-dollar, donations of $12,500 from individuals wishing to establish an endowed scholarship for the URI College of Business Administration. Those gifts will be effectively doubled as a result of the Verrecchia’s generosity, creating scholarship opportunities for Rhode Island students in need of financial assistance.

“URI attracts an outstanding cadre of students, many of whom – particularly in our present economic climate- have difficulty financing their education. Gerrie and I feel strongly about supporting students and supporting URI,” said Verrecchia. He added, “By challenging others to give generously, we can provide direct assistance to Rhode Island students in need, while helping to enhance the University’s competitiveness.”

Verrecchia received an undergraduate degree from URI in 1971, an MBA in 1974 and an Honorary Doctor of Laws in 2004. “I am very grateful for the fine education I received at URI, which most certainly contributed to any professional success I have achieved,” Verrecchia commented. “Gerrie and I are happy to be able to put this high caliber of education within reach of deserving students who may not have otherwise had the opportunity.”

President Robert L. Carothers said, “Al Verrecchia is part of the very fabric of Rhode Island. From his undergraduate days at URI to his rise to Chairman of Hasbro, he has always supported URI and has remained committed to its growth and success. We are very appreciative of the devotion and the philanthropic spirit both he and Gerrie continue to demonstrate, particularly in the area of endowment creation, one of the priorities of the University’s current Making A Difference capital campaign.”

Mark Higgins, dean of the College of Business Administration said, “Some of the most distinguished names in business, Al Verrecchia among them, are graduates of URI. We are fortunate that so many of them have a strong affinity to their alma mater and continue to demonstrate that through their financial support. The significant gift from Al and Gerrie is most generous and we encourage other graduates and friends to take advantage of this opportunity and double their gifts through the Verrecchia challenge.”

Scholarships created as a result of the Verrecchia Challenge grant will bear the name of the donor or any name the donor chooses to honor. Gifts of $12,500 may be pledged over five years, and may be eligible for employer matches. Nearly 600 U. S. companies match employee charitable contributions. To see if yours is one of them, please visit www.matchinggifts.com/uri.

The Verrecchias have previously made other gifts, totaling nearly $300,000 to URI in support of projects and initiatives including the Annual Fund, the renovation of Ballantine Hall, the College of Business Administration Dean’s Fund, and the URI Citizens Scholar Fund as well as to establish the Verrecchia-Hasbro Leadership Chair, toward which Hasbro also donated $1 million in 1997. The Atrium of Ballantine Hall, home to the College of Business Administration, is named in Verrecchia’s honor. He is a member of URI’s Campaign Leadership Committee, the President’s Council Committee, and the URI Business Advisory Council (past chair) and has served in various other volunteer capacities at URI in the past.

Endowment creation is an important part of the Making A Difference campaign. The campaign seeks at least $100 million to recruit and retain outstanding faculty, enhance the student-centered campus experience, provide scholarships and fund cutting-edge academic and research initiatives. For more information on the Verrecchia Challenge Grant, contact Michaela Mooney, Associate Dean for Development, URI Foundation, at 401.874.4716 or by emailing her at mmooney@foundation.uri.edu.

For information on the Making A Difference capital campaign, please visit www.urifoundation.org or call 401.874.7900.