Making a Big Difference : Robert Morris University Making a Big Difference | Robert Morris University

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BY JONATHAN POTTS

In October the Richard King Mellon Foundation awarded Robert Morris University a $5 million grant. The School of Business will receive $3 million toward its new building, now under construction, and $2 million will provide an endowment for RMU’s Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management.

“This gift is such an endorsement of 11 years of work. We’re here because of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and they have now secured our future in perpetuity,” said Peggy Outon, the executive director of the Bayer Center.

The downtown Pittsburgh center, which was founded with a gift from the Richard King Mellon Foundation in 1999, has worked with 3,000 nonprofits in southwestern Pennsylvania. It provides management support services, including consulting in board development, business planning, collaboration and alliances, financial management, fund development, organizational effectiveness, and technology planning. The center is among the very few capacity-building organizations nationwide to receive an endowment.

The 18,000-square-foot business school facility is set to open in the fall of 2011, and will include classroom space, the PNC Trading Center, the U.S. Steel Videoconferencing and Technology Resource Center, and the Allegheny Technologies Global Library.

“The Richard King Mellon Foundation's support is a vote of confidence for RMU's track record and vision for the future. We are pleased and sincerely appreciate their generous gift, and feel confident that their investment will pay dividends for the region,” said David J. Malone, vice chairman of the RMU Board of Trustees and president and CEO of Gateway Financial.

RMU is in the midst of a period of unprecedented growth. In addition to the business school building, an apartment-style residence hall is under construction and is set to open in the fall of 2011. It will house 190 students. RMU welcomed 900 freshman students this fall, the largest incoming class in its history. Approximately 1,500 students are living on campus, also a record.