Virginia Commonwealth University receives $2.2 million donation for its Schools of Engineering and Business Campaigns

RICHMOND, Va. (Jan. 17, 2006) – The combined campaigns of the Virginia Commonwealth University schools of Business and Engineering have received a $2.2 million donation from Philip Morris USA.

In addition to the cash donation of $1 million to each school, Philip Morris USA also donated nearly $225,000 in equipment to the VCU School of Engineering that will afford undergraduate students the opportunity for hands-on experience with advanced design and prototyping equipment.

“This donation from Philip Morris USA enhances VCU’s continued commitment to provide our business community with competitive and motivated engineers and business executives who have great technical skills, an appreciation for the value of research and development and a good understanding of business and marketing,” said VCU President Eugene P. Trani.

"This partnership is consistent with Philip Morris USA’s focus on education, particularly workforce development and economic revitalization of downtown Richmond," said Michael E. Szymanczyk, chairman and CEO, Philip Morris USA. "We value VCU's collaborative approach to preparing a highly qualified workforce and its contributions to the economic transformation of our city - a commitment shared by Philip Morris USA through our investment in the new Center for Research and Technology."

The VCU Schools of Business and Engineering will be major components of VCU’s new Monroe Park Campus Addition, where a new building is being erected for the business school, and a second phase of the engineering school is being built. The new facilities will allow the schools to add about 2,000 students.

The 130,000 square-foot School of Business will include a trading room, tiered case-study classrooms, team building rooms, an auditorium, a career center, a corporate education center, faculty offices and a café. The 115,000 square-foot School of Engineering expansion will include state-of-the-art lecture halls, more than 60 research and teaching labs, student meeting and study spaces, classrooms and faculty offices.

"The School of Engineering is most fortunate to have such a long-standing relationship with Philip Morris USA,” said Robert Mattauch, dean of the VCU School of Engineering. “As one of the top employers of our graduates, Philip Morris has a tremendous presence in our school and impacts the lives of our students, faculty, and alumni in very tangible ways. This most recent gift is truly extraordinary and will help ensure our continued success."

Michael Sesnowitz, dean of the VCU School of Business, said the donation “will help us achieve our vision of becoming nationally recognized as the leading technologically focused business school that we are.

“This gift will help the state-of-the-art facility to create a greater sense of community among students, faculty, alumni and business leaders,” he said.

A $228 million, two-phased project to build the Monroe Park Campus Addition east of Belvidere between Main and Canal streets will include the new School of Business, the second phase of the School of Engineering, two residential colleges, a renovation of the historic Central Belting building for Virginia Commonwealth University’s No. 1-ranked graduate program in advertising, an executive conference center and an underground parking garage for 800 vehicles.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.