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Published: Friday, 3/24/2006

$400,000 to help build UT business center

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A $400,000 gift from the board chairman of Savage & Associates and his wife will kick-start the building of a $13.2 million addition to the University of Toledo's Stranahan Hall.

The university's College of Business Administration is expected to announce the gift from Robert and Susan Savage during a 2:30 p.m. news conference today in the Stranahan Hall lobby.

The addition, to be called the Complex for Business Learning and Engagement, will extend east from Stranahan Hall.

The construction is part of the 10-year facilities master plan for the university, which was announced last year.

The main atrium inside the new addition will be named after Mr. and Mrs. Savage, school officials said. Mr. Savage is a 1959 UT graduate.

"I am absolutely convinced that the best way to have a great future for the city of Toledo is to invest more in the university to make it a far better school," Mr. Savage said in a telephone interview with The Blade yesterday.

"My wife and I see this as an opportunity to be a spark plug to change the College of Business," he said.

"That's our goal, to rally the business community so we can put together a first-rate addition which will be an outreach program to area businesses and help the business and academic worlds work better together for a great future for this end of the state," Mr. Savage said.

He co-founded Savage & Associates, a Toledo financial and insurance firm, with his brother John F. Savage, who died of leukemia in 1993. Savage Hall, the university's basketball arena, is named after John Savage.

Barbara Tartaglia, University of Toledo's director of development, said the latest donation serves as the lead gift to the new business complex addition, which is expected to be completed by the fall of 2009.

It is expected to house high technology classrooms, learning labs, breakout rooms, and offices for the business college's various programs.

"The financial investment by Bob and Sue Savage is truly transformational," said Thomas Gutteridge, dean of University of Toledo's business college.

"Not only is it a building block for the construction" of the new complex, Mr. Gutteridge said, "but it also serves as a challenge to other UT supporters to participate both financially and intellectually."

Contact Clyde Hughes at:

chughes@theblade.com

or 419-724-6095.



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