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January 19, 2011

Gifts to advance Simon School’s strategic goals

The Simon School will receive four major gifts totaling $3.9 million to advance strategic initiatives in the areas of faculty recruitment, curricular enhancement and scholarship support.

Alan Zekelman, ’87S (MS), and his wife, Lori, have pledged $1.5 million to establish an endowed finance professorship. The Lori and Alan S. Zekelman Professorship of Business Administration will allow the school to recruit a distinguished scholar to join its globally renowned finance faculty. Alan Zekelman is a board member of the John Maneely Company, which owns Atlas Tube Inc., an Ontario-based manufacturer of steel tubing for a variety of industrial and aesthetic uses. His father founded Atlas Tube. “The Simon School has always been a leader in the field of financial economics,” Zekelman says. “Lori and I are both excited and committed to making sure that Simon remains at the forefront of research and pedagogy in finance for years to come.”

Robert Keegan ’72 has made a $1 million commitment to support strategic initiatives. Keegan is chairman of the board for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Previously, he was CEO and chairman of the board. Prior to that, he was president of the consumer imaging business and an executive vice president at Eastman Kodak Company. He is a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and the Simon School Executive Advisory Committee. “My family and I are very pleased to be making this gift to the University of Rochester with a focus on the Simon Graduate School of Business,” Keegan says. “The University has a rich academic and research history and strong momentum for the future. We trust that our gift will enable President Joel Seligman and his leadership team to accelerate this momentum.”

Charles Miersch ’70 is pledging $900,000 to the Simon School Annual Fund to support strategic initiatives and scholarships for deserving students. Miersch retired in 2004 after 30 years of service to the University and the Simon School, most recently as senior associate dean for corporate relations and institutional advancement at Simon. He is an active alumnus and member of Simon’s Executive Advisory Committee. “My 30-plus years at the University and Simon provided a level of satisfaction and a set of colleagues that, for me, could not be equaled anywhere else,” Miersch says. “I am grateful and happy to be in a position to provide some support to make Simon an even stronger business school going forward.”

Dennis Kessler, the Edward J. and Agnes V. Ackley Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship, and his brother, Laurence, have committed $500,000 to enhance entrepreneurship education at the Simon School. Dennis Kessler is a member of the board of directors at the Medical Center. Laurence Kessler is a member of the University Board of Trustees. “We believe in the value of education at all levels and supporting the Simon School Entrepreneurship program will directly benefit not only the Simon School but our entire community with job creation and innovation,” Dennis Kessler says.

“We are very grateful to the Zekelmans, the Keegans, Charlie Miersch, and the Kesslers for their generosity,” says Dean Mark Zupan. “Their support will help us to continue to provide our students with the best possible management education in the years to come.”

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