The Richard King Mellon Foundation has awarded Robert Morris University a $5 million grant, the largest in the university’s history, to support the RMU School of Business and the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management.
The School of Business will receive $3 million toward its new building, which is under construction at RMU’s Moon Township campus. The 18,000-square-foot 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.
“We are grateful for this generous gift from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, which is an affirmation of the numerous contributions the RMU School of Business has made to the civic and economic life of the Pittsburgh region,” said RMU President Gregory G. Dell’Omo.
The RMU School of Business is the largest of the university’s five academic schools, and in 2009 it earned accreditation by AACSB International – The Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business. Only 4 percent of business schools worldwide have received this prestigious designation.
Other gifts for the business school building include $520,000 from the PNC Foundation for the trading center; $500,000 from the United States Steel Foundation for the videoconferencing center; and $250,000 from ATI for the library.
“These gifts demonstrate the faith that business and community leaders have in our ability to prepare the next generation students to succeed in an ever-changing global economy and to make meaningful contributions to their community,” said Dell’Omo.
The Richard King Mellon Foundation also gave $2 million to provide an endowment for RMU’s Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management. The Bayer Center was launched in 1999 and offers management support services to nonprofit organizations, including consulting in board development, business planning, collaboration and alliances, financial management, fund development, organizational effectiveness, and technology planning.
The Bayer Center is among the very few capacity-building organizations nationwide to receive an endowment.
“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 Bayer Center, which was founded with a gift from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, has worked with 3,000 nonprofits in the 10-county Pittsburgh metropolitan region. That means that one out of every two nonprofit organizations in western Pennsylvania has benefited from the Bayer Center’s services. The Bayer Center also provides vital research to the nonprofit community and the Pittsburgh region, such as its wage and benefit survey, which tackles the persistent wage gap between male and female nonprofit workers.
“The Bayer Center does such great work for this region and provides such a service to nonprofits. Especially during these turbulent economic times the work that they do and the collaborations they seek are even more important,” said Rebecca Lucore, chair of the Bayer Center advisory board and executive director of the Bayer USA Foundation, the other major supporter of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management.
“This gift is a testament to the center and the staff and their great work, and the expectations of great work to come,” said Lucore.
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.
“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.