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Entrepreneur Michael Hoffman Supports UAlbany School of Education
Businessman pledges $30,000 gift in a ceremony during UAlbany Day activities, noon, Sat. Oct. 25, uptown campus

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

Michael Hoffman's gift to the UAlbany School of Education will support teaching in urban schools

Michael Hoffman's gift to the UAlbany School of Education will support teachers working in urban schools. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 24, 2008) -- Businessman Michael Hoffman has pledged $30,000 to the University at Albany to establish an endowed fund for teachers in the School of Education graduate program who are providing direct services to students in the urban school districts of Albany, Schenectady, Troy or Cohoes.

Brian Straughter, vice president of Turf Hotels, will present the gift to Interim President George Philip at a ceremony during UAlbany Day activities at noon, Saturday, Oct. 25 outside the Campus Center on the uptown campus.

"We are grateful for Michael Hoffman's support and belief in our School of Education," said Interim President George M. Philip. "He has been a good neighbor and tremendous partner of the University at Albany."

Hoffman, president and owner of Turf Hotels, is a native of Albany, N.Y. Turf Hotels under his direction previously donated $20,000 to the University's Inaugural Scholarship Fund.

"I am very pleased to be able to support UAlbany in its effort to provide high quality affordable education," said Hoffman. "Education is the cornerstone of everything that we do and the foundation for everything we achieve. Throughout the past years we have come to know many UAlbany students and are proud to continue to support the university."

Michael Hoffman graduated from Clarkson College with a degree in Industrial Distribution. He began his lodging industry career in 1975, when he and his family opened a 202-room Best Western hotel. Soon after the hotel's opening, Hoffman became the hotel's general manager and in 1987 was responsible for the conversion of the hotel to the Holiday Inn brand. In 1990, the Hoffman family purchased the "Inn at Lake George." That hotel, built in 1966, has since returned to the Holiday Inn system and is a 2006 Torchbearer award winner for quality and excellence.

Hoffman serves on the Board of LaSalle School, a school for underprivileged boys in Albany, where he received the Lasallian Benefactor award. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors of the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York, the New York State Tourism and Hospitality Association, and is a past chairman of the IAHI (the owner’s association of the Intercontinental Hotels Group).

"Mr. Hoffman's gift leaves a legacy to aspiring teachers and the children they will teach," said Robert Bangert-Drowns, acting dean of the School of Education. "We are very grateful for his contribution."

The nationally-ranked School of Education enhances learning and human development, in and out of classrooms, and across the life span, by seeking to advance knowledge about the full spectrum of challenges in learning, development, behavior, and adaptation.  The School fosters learning and human development by offering a wide variety of academic programs taught by a large and diverse faculty who bring multidisciplinary expertise to bear on policy and practice about the changing needs of students, professionals, and educational systems across the globe.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 56 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.

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