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Local philanthropist and alumnus Sunil Puri gifts $1million in land to College

Wednesday, May 23, 2012  
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For immediate release – 5/21/12
Director of Communications Rita Elliott, 815-226-3374

Rockford, Ill., – First Rockford Group Founder and President Sunil Puri,’82, presented the deed to just over five acres of commercial land valued at $1 million to Rockford College President Robert L. Head, Ph.D., during the May 11, 2012 Rockford College Board of Trustee meetings. Puri also serves as a trustee of the college. Pictured in photo are Rockford College Board of Trustee Chair Mr. David Rydell, Mr. Sunil Puri, and Rockford College President Robert L. Head, Ph.D. 

Puri Land Gift May 2012In addition to the land donated by Puri, on May 18, 2012, the College closed on the purchase of a parcel of land located directly to the west of the 5100 building on East State Street. That parcel, along with the five acres gifted from Puri and located along Gloyd Parkway, once again connects the main campus with East State Street. The ability for the College to take ownership of this land is both historically and fiscally significant.

In 1989, the College sold acreage leading up to East State Street to ward off financial difficulties. Puri has owned the land since 1991. Mr. Puri notes, "I have seen the College struggle through the most difficult of times and proudly, I have also witnessed the resolve of the College’s current leadership to move towards fiscal soundness and strength. Throughout any challenge, Rockford College has always remained dedicated to providing students an uncompromised education. I made this gift now because I believe that Rockford College is stronger than it has been in several decades and poised to continue to grow and serve this community as a premier liberal arts institution.”

Plans to develop the land adjacent to the 5100 building to accommodate additional parking spaces are underway. The 5100 building primarily serves the College’s master level and adult degree completion classes. There are no immediate plans for the property donated by Mr. Puri. President Head adds, "As we look to develop long term master plans for our campus, the land donated by Mr. Puri helps to appreciably expand our options to envision scenarios for continued growth. I am extremely appreciative of Sunil’s strong commitment to Rockford College, and we are excited to continue to plan for the successful future of our students and our institution.”

Rockford College is a four-year, co-educational institution founded in 1847 offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in traditional liberal arts and professional fields. The College offers approximately 80 majors, minors and concentrations, including the adult accelerated degree completion program for a B.S. in Management Studies. Through its Graduate Studies department, degrees are extended to include the Master of Arts in Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). Rockford College is home to one of only 11 Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapters in Illinois, the most prestigious honor society in the United States. Named by The Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern College and one of only 81 colleges in the nation as a "College with a Conscience,” Rockford College currently serves approximately 1,350 full-and part-time students.


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