The money is earmarked for a new building for YSU's business college.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- For banker Garry Mrozek, handing Youngstown State University a check for 300,000 was kind of like keeping the money all in the family.
Mrozek, president of National City Bank, Northeast, is a YSU graduate -- twice.
He earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration, and the 300,000 gift from National City Bank will go toward building a new Williamson College of Business Administration.
Mrozek and 45 of his colleagues from National City participated in the check presentation Thursday in Kilcawley Center at YSU. Making the link between YSU and National all the more significant, at least 20 of the bankers present are YSU alumni.
The university said it is the largest corporate gift so far for YSU's Centennial Campaign, a 43 million drive to raise funds for a new business school and a variety of other campus improvements, all tied to the university's 2008 centennial celebration.
"We recognize the critical role this outstanding university plays in preparing leaders to make a positive impact both locally and nationally," Mrozek said. "Through its academic and cultural programs, YSU has provided a special vibrancy to the Youngstown area."
He said the gift is the largest single National City gift ever to any public university and the largest gift of any kind in Northeast Ohio.
Dr. David C Sweet, YSU president, said National City has been a generous YSU supporter for years.
In 2000, the bank contributed 25,000 to help fund the YSU Operations Improvement Task Force, and, in 2003, put up 100,000 to help construct the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
The bank also provides annual gifts, including an endowed scholarship for business students, Sweet said.
Tony Lariccia, chairman of the Centennial Campaign and vice president for Merrill Lynch in Canfield, said the drive has raised 28.6 million so far, and he predicted it will reach its goal by this time in 2008, a year ahead of schedule.
The new business college has a projected cost of 30 million and half of that is to come from the Centennial Campaign. About 9 million of the money collected thus far is earmarked for that specific project. The additional 15 million will come from borrowing through a bond issue and state capital funds.
The business school will be a 100,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art educational facility, said Betty Jo Licata, dean of the college.
Mrozek and Ted Schmidt, National City senior vice president of corporate banking, are very active in the College of Business Administration, Licata said, adding that they "exemplify what it means to be a leader and make a difference."