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  September 17, 2001

Bank's Pledge Seeks to Boost State's Future

People's Bank has pledged more than $500,000 to the University, in a new effort to support secondary education initiatives and to develop a well trained workforce in the state. It is the largest donation from a bank in the history of the University, and among the largest by People's Bank to any institution of higher learning.

"As Connecticut's bank, we think it's important to form a partnership with Connecticut's flagship university," said John A. Klein '71, People's president and chief executive officer, in announcing the donation. "It's the duty of business to help keep the best and brightest here in our state. Supporting UConn is supporting the economic viability of our state."

Through a comprehensive effort, called "A Partnership to Nurture Connecticut's Future," People's is targeting several areas that will have a positive impact on the strength of Connecticut's workforce. These contributions will fund programs in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, as well as the School of Business, the Neag School of Education and the School of Medicine.

"Connecticut faces a productive future, but that future depends on preparing young men and women who are ready to meet global competition," said President Philip E. Austin. "People's Bank's investment underscores the expectation that every dollar invested in UConn will help generate a highly skilled workforce and an enriched state economy."

Klein is a member of the Campaign UConn Steering Committee, and also co-chair of the Fairfield County regional campaign. He and his wife Carla have recently pledged funds to create The Klein Classroom for Teacher Education in the Neag School of Education, part of the renovation of Gentry Building.

More than 92,000 UConn alumni live in Connecticut and nearly 19,000 current UConn students hail from the state. People's is providing funds to boost programs that will touch UConn students and Connecticut school children, with the aim of ultimately improving quality of life in the state.

The bank's pledge will support a number of initiatives, including:

  • The nationally recognized, comprehensive school reform program at the Neag School of Education. People's support will bring this program to schools across Connecticut, working to improve education and touch the lives of thousands of children.
  • The UConn Health Center's model program for introducing pre-college students from underrepresented groups to careers in the health care professions. People's gift will help electronically link area schools with Health Center resources and provide summer research fellowships, allowing promising students to work with distinguished scientists.
  • A program to pay students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences a stipend for internships at non-profit and government agencies that cannot afford to pay. This will allow students who could not sacrifice a summer or semester of paid employment to gain experience, while providing additional hands to these agencies and their clients.
  • The UConn Family Business Center, which focuses on the special needs of family businesses, including succession planning, staffing, and leadership. The Family Business Center will sponsor an annual award named for Louis H. Ulizio and People's Bank. Ulizio, a founder of the Family Business Center, recently retired as People's executive vice president for commercial banking.

Arthur Sorrentino

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