Philanthropist Marty Silverman Supports UAlbany Life Sciences Initiative with $1 Million Gift

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4981; cell (518) 265-4114

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 18, 2002) Ė Philanthropist Morris "Marty" Silverman has made a $1 million gift to support the University at Albanyís Life Sciences Research Initiative, a major effort to advance scientific understanding of the molecular mysteries of life and disease.

Through the initiative, UAlbany plans to invest more than $100 million in public and private funds to expand its research facilities and attract world-class researchers, and the University is seeking $20 million of this investment from private philanthropy. Silvermanís gift brings to almost $3.5 million the total committed by donors thus far.

"This initiative is a strategic investment in a critical academic and research area," said UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock. "However, we canít fulfill this strategic vision without private support, and it should come as no surprise to anyone in this region that Marty Silverman has once again stepped forward to make a difference." Leading the Universityís effort to raise private funds for the Life Sciences is Dr. Thomas DíAmbra, Chairman and CEO of Albany Molecular Research.

A year ago, Silverman helped launch another UAlbany initiative, the Center for Jewish Studies, with a challenge grant.

The son of an immigrant tailor, Silverman worked his way through Albany Law School, graduating in 1936 and accepting a position with the Legal Aid Society. Three years later, he departed the Capital Region for New York City. After entering the U.S. Army during World War II; earning two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, and numerous other commendations; and rising to the rank of major, he returned home. He started two businesses; one of them, National Equipment Rental, grew to become the largest privately held leasing firm in the United States.

Through the Marty and Dorothy Silverman Foundation, formed in 1984 and named for himself and his late wife, the Manhattan resident has given away millions of dollars to academic, health care, veteransí and Jewish and other faith-based causes, as well as to medical research and the law. His philanthropy has also benefited senior citizens and abused and neglected youngsters.

At Albany Medical Center, Silverman made a commitment that annually generates a $500,000 prize for medicine and biomedical research; he also established three chairs, including one in cardiology, at the medical center. He is the driving force behind University Heights, a consortium that joins his alma mater, Albany Law, with Albany Medical College, Albany College of Pharmacy, and The Sage Colleges to enhance the regionís offerings in law, medicine, and higher education. A gift to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute made possible a venture that will further biotechnology research by the institutionís faculty. A donation to Albany College of Pharmacy provided two-thirds of the funding needed for an endowed chair in pharmaceutical sciences. Contributions to Albany Law allowed the school to build a moot courtroom and to establish a chair in Governor George E. Patakiís name. Silverman was instrumental in founding the New York State Military Heritage Museum & Veterans Resource Center in Saratoga Springs. In addition, he made a substantial loan to Bellevue Hospital and gave a major grant to Albanyís Palace Theatre.

Over the years, the grandfather of nine has funded a Holocaust museum in Houston, Texas, and a Jewish chapel for the use of cadets and faculty at West Point. Silvermanís generosity has also provided housing in Israel for former Soviet Jews.

In recognition of his philanthropy, Silverman has been accorded honors that include an honorary Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law, an honorary doctor of humane letters from Hunter College and an honorary doctor of public service from The Sage Colleges.

The Life Sciences Research Initiative is investing more than $100 million in public and private funds to build world-class strength in life sciences research at the UAlbany. Of the overall investment, $65 million is being provided by New York State for the construction costs of the $78 million Life Sciences Research Building now rising on campus and scheduled for completion in 2005. About $5 million more for the building will come from research grants. The fund-raising drive will provide $8 million in support for the building and $12 million to recruit and retain nationally prominent research teams. Additional federal and University support brings the total investment to more than $100 million.

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges.

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