Volume 7, Number 1, 1997

MBNA America Hall ceremony
draws educators, corporate leaders together

Pride, generosity, appreciation, a distinguished legacy and a promising future all were themes expressed at the dedication Oct. 17 of MBNA America Hall, new home of the College of Business and Economics.

More than 250 persons gathered on the lawn across from the building's entrance to formally dedicate the facility, which opened in late summer in time for the fall semester.

University President David P. Roselle stressed the importance of facilities that allow talented and gifted faculty to teach and challenge students.

As part of the dedication program, Board of Trustees' Chairman Andrew B. Kirkpatrick Jr. presented the University's Medal of Distinction to Donald J. Puglisi, MBNA America Business Professor of Finance.

Dana J. Johnson, dean of the College of Business and Economics, acknowledged her predecessor, Kenneth Biederman, and the efforts of the college's visiting committee.

Trustee Donald R. Brunner, who chairs the visiting committee, recognized three corporate financial institutions that had contributed to the project, which also included renovation of Purnell Hall: The DuPont Co., for the Marketing and Administrative Sciences Laboratory in the lower level of Purnell; PNC Bank, for the PNC Bank Conference Room on the second floor of MBNA America Hall; and J. P. Morgan & Co. Inc., for the J.P. Morgan Lecture Room on the first floor of MBNA America Hall.

Roselle introduced as "very special friends" of the University, Chaplin Tyler and his wife, Elizabeth, of Hockessin, Del. In recognition of their support, the atrium in the new building is named the Chaplin Tyler Atrium. Over the years, the Tylers have given in excess of $3 million to the University, most of it earmarked for the College of Business and Economics.

Tyler, at 99, delighted the audience with his remarks and described Johnson as a "dynamic agent of change," who often has said, "business education must change and adapt to new conditions." Tyler added, "That means, 'Things are going to happen around here!'"

In introducing Charles M. Cawley, chairman, president and chief executive officer of MBNA America Bank, N.A., Roselle talked of the company's generous support of UD: $2.5 million to MBNA America Hall; $1 million to Fortune 2000, a minority recruitment and scholarship program in the college; $200,000 for the establishment of the MBNA business professorship; $325,000 for the MBNA Concourse in the Bob Carpenter Sports/Convocation Center; and $2.5 million for building renovation and construction of a new UD classroom facility in downtown Wilmington.

MBNA America is the world's largest issuer of the Gold MasterCard and the country's second largest credit card lender. Based in Wilmington, Del., the company is the recognized industry leader in affinity marketing. Income from the UD Alumni Association's affinity card helps support scholarships and other University programs.

Cawley noted the very close relationship between MBNA and UD, adding that the University played a significant role in the decision to establish the company in the Newark area in the 1980s. He said that while the list of MBNA's contributions to UD may seem impressive, he does not believe it is enough, for UD has given much more back to MBNA.

The relationship between MBNA and the University "symbolizes the future of both institutions," Cawley said, adding that, if the University of Delaware were a portrait, it would be a "masterpiece."

Cawley introduced Diane Sievering, AS '81, senior executive vice president at MBNA, one of the first UD graduates to join the company. MBNA now employs some 1,600 UD alumni and students.

Also at the ceremony, Roselle expressed appreciation to the state of Delaware for its contributions to the project, and he acknowledged the long-standing support from the Wilmington Trust Co., which funded the Leonard Quill Conference Room, in honor of its former CEO, a graduate of the College of Business and Economics' Class of 1958.

UD alumni Henri L. Bertuch, '54, and his wife, Rhoda Sue, '56, were thanked for their $100,000 gift to assist undergraduates and for the completion of MBNA America Hall. They have established the Bertuch Fellowships for MBA students and the Rhoda Sue and Henri L. Bertuch Undergraduate Student Scholarship Fund for out-of-state students who show academic promise and financial need. A lecture hall in the new building will be named in their honor.

A gift from the Lingo family of Rehoboth Beach, Del., which funds a lecture room, also was recognized.

The Stubbins Group was architect for the new building.

--Ed Okonowicz, AS '69,'84M