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Fund raising challenge grants proposed

2/3/2005 —
Community volunteers, along with the faculty and staff at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, currently in the midst of a capital campaign to raise $8 million for the construction of the Abram Nesbitt III Academic Commons building, have enthusiastically accepted two fund raising challenge grants. The challenge grants were proposed by campus alumnus, Rick Barry and by Penn State University President, Dr. Graham Spanier.

Rick Barry, who attended Penn State Wilkes-Barre from 1976-78, pledged $500,000 providing this amount would be matched by an additional $500,000 in donations. Once this challenge was fulfilled, he pledged an additional $500,000. A new 100-seat lecture hall will be named in his honor. Mr. Barry currently lives in California where he is managing director/portfolio manager of Eastbourne Capital Management, L.L.C., one of the largest hedge fund money management firms on the West Coast. He graduated magna cum laude from University Park in 1980 with a degree in political science.

Dr. Graham Spanier has challenged the campus to raise $7 million by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2005. If this goal is successfully met, the University will contribute the final $1 million needed to complete this project. At this writing, the total of funds raised stands at $5.7 million.

The Commons will add 33,000 square feet of space to the campus and house a new library, classrooms, lecture hall, study areas, a cyber café and art gallery. According to William Davidowitz, campaign chair, the grants serve as an inspiration to a group of people dedicated to the Abram Nesbitt III Academic Commons project. “When it’s finished, the Commons will be the first new structure on campus since the Athletic & Recreation Building opened in 1991,” said Davidowitz. “We have been working hard to raise the money needed to make it become a reality and the challenge grants will raise our efforts to an even higher level.”

For more information on the Capital Campaign for the Abram Nesbitt III Academic Commons, contact the development office at 570-675-9228.
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