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UConn's Downtown Stamford Campus dedicated today (Released: 4/17/98)

by Karen Grava Williams, Office of University Communications.

STAMFORD. CT - Officials from state government, the Connecticut business community and the City of Stamford joined faculty, staff administrators and students today to dedicate the new downtown campus of The University of Connecticut at Stamford.

'"The opening of the University's downtown Stamford campus moves us a giant step forward in the transformation of Connecticut's flagship university," says UConn President Philip E. Austin. "This magnificent facility, built under the auspices of UConn2000, is a visible symbol of our emergence as one of the nation's foremost institutions of public higher education. Here in Stamford, state-of-the art teaching and research facilities and the extraordinarily innovative Connecticut Information Technology Institute (CITI) program show a university that is an integral part of the local community, an important contributor to the state, and above all, a center of educational excellence," he says.

"The economic vitality and future of the City of Stamford is directly linked to the success of the University of Connecticut at Stamford," says Mayor Dannel P. Malloy. "The City and its corporate citizens can only benefit from the presence of UConn in our downtown community."

UConn Chancellor Mark A. Emmert says the programs at Stamford are integrated with all the offerings of the University, take fall advantage of cooperative agreements with the neighboring community-technical colleges, and are coordinated with the state university system.

"Here the local community is provided with the high quality and rigorous instructional programs prevalent throughout the University," he says.

The campus, relocated from the suburban Scofieldtown Road to the former Bloomingdale's department store building in the heart of downtown was the first project began under UConn2000, the state's $1 billion program to renew, rebuild, and enhance UConn's campuses throughout the state.

Private support from the business community and individuals raised more than $10 million in a capital campaign to help outfit the building, establish scholarships and provide important support for programs. The chair of the campaign is Denis Nayden, a member of the board of the UConn Foundation and the president and chief operating officer of GE Capital Corp.

Speaking at the ceremonies, Nayden says, "I'm proud of the rally and leadership put forth by the business community to expand and move this campus. And as an alum, I know that the value of my degree increases as the University improves. I know you agree this is just the beginning: the building is finished but the work has just begun."

More than 700 people attended the dedication. Ceremonies began with a video presentation highlighting the state-of-the-art classrooms, science laboratories, computer center and library available to students in the undergraduate and graduate programs at Stamford. The facilities provide a link to other campuses of the state's only public research university.

"This is a very special day for the State of Connecticut, a day when we dedicate a campus built through a public private partnership in one of the most vibrant downtown areas of the state," says Lt. Gov. Jodi Rell, one of the keynote speakers.

'"This new campus puts the University at the heart of the City and at the heart of the economic boom in Stamford," says Curtiss Porter, director of the Stamford Campus. "Over the years we have recognized the importance of partnering with the business community and as part of the flagship educational institution of the State, the Stamford campus will play a major role in the way the University reacts to its constituents throughout the State. We are delighted to take our place among the leaders and decision-makers of Fairfield County."

The Stamford campus will provide quality educational programs, like those offered through the Connecticut Information Technology Institute (CITI), an information technology program created jointly by UConn and leaders of the business community designed specifically to provide training for the workforce that will be employed by Fairfield County businesses.

CITI is one of several programs UConn has undertaken in recent years to serve the needs of the business community in the state, information technology courses and downtown classes in Hartford and a $156 million marine science construction program at UConn's Avery Point campus in Groton.

The Stamford event Included speeches by legislators, including House Majority Leader Moira Lyons, Senate Majority Leader George C. Jepsen, and Sen. William H. Nickerson.