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March 21, 2007

ULM Foundation announces plans for president's residence

Betty Cummins, president of the University of Louisiana at Monroe Foundation, announced the Foundation's plans to construct a $1.4 million on-campus residence to be occupied by the ULM president.

The new home, which will be located at 4508 and 4520 Bon Aire Dr. alongside Bayou DeSiard, is scheduled to be completed within approximately one year.

The residence, composed of both public rooms and private quarters, will provide a venue for events recognizing ULM faculty, staff, students, friends and donors, Cummins said. The Foundation hopes to provide another site for the ULM family to enjoy a park between the Alumni Center and the president's home.

ULM, the only institution in the UL System without an on-campus president's residence, has been without one since 1995. The Foundation, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to helping ULM grow by facilitating major fundraising efforts, wanted to change that.

"We've seen several campus improvements over the past couple of years, but one thing has been lacking, and that's a residence for the university president," Cummins said.

Foundation members began discussing an on-campus residence in December 2005, and in August 2006 the ULM Foundation Board of Trustees approved a fund-raising campaign for the project, identified campaign leadership, and pledged to take an active role in raising and providing the funds to construct the new residence at no cost to the university. Responses to fund-raising efforts, which are almost complete, have been "overwhelming," Cummins said.

ULM President James Cofer praised the efforts of the Foundation.  "Deborah and I are impressed by the ULM Foundation's tireless and visionary commitment to enhancing the philanthropic support of this institution. Their day-to-day efforts already increase donations and community goodwill," he said. "As they make the on-campus residence for the president a reality, we will have the proper jewel on the Bayou to attract current and future donors, increase campus fund-raising efforts, and provide an appropriate venue to properly recognize faculty, staff, and student achievements. This action today by the ULM Foundation is a lasting legacy to future university presidents."

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