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March 22, 2010

Chase receives Hall of Distinction Award; touts community-university partnership

Today the University of Louisiana Monroe recognized Chase as the newest recipient of its Hall of Distinction Award, the most prestigious award given by the university.

ULM President James E. Cofer presented the award to Chase representative Susan Hoffmann, senior banker for northeast Louisiana and ULM alum, in a 10:30 a.m. press conference.

Hoffmann noted that bankers have long recognized ULM’s regional economic impact.

“We all know education is a critical component to the success of our community,” she said. “We have recruited and hired from the ranks of ULM graduates because we find them to be highly successful employees.”

President Cofer acknowledged that the long-term sustainability of any university is contingent on the support of businesses from the surrounding community. He emphasized Chase’s cumulative support to ULM, which totals over $1 million. Continuous giving by Chase has also earned them Tower Society membership, the highest giving level recognition in the Kitty DeGree Bell Tower Society.

“So many people have supported us in good times and in bad,” said President Cofer. “We are very pleased to honor Chase today because, quite candidly, we wouldn’t be here today without their support and the support of others like them.”

Cofer added that Chase is one of those businesses that are an integral part of higher education’s “three-legged stool” in Louisiana. Without the third leg of alumni and corporate donors, tuition and state dollars would not be enough to balance the fiscal foundation necessary to the operations of the university.

Hoffmann, alluding to the state budget cuts that have challenged Louisiana’s colleges and universities, expressed her confidence in Cofer and ULM.

“These are not the easiest of times,” said Hoffmann. “But this is a resilient group who knows how to handle the many demands being placed on you. Thank you. We are very honored.”

With more than 2,000 employees in Monroe, Chase supports ULM in numerous ways and encourages its employees and the community to use education as a springboard to achieve their life goals.

Chase now joins other former Hall of Distinction award recipients, which include:

2004 – Kitty DeGree
2005 – The Thomas H. and Mayme P. Scott Foundation
2006 – Nelson D. and Bennie Hughes Abell
2007 – Emy-Lou Biedenharn Foundation
2008 – CenturyTel

Chase’s History:

Chase traces its heritage to the two largest local banks in Monroe, Ouachita National Bank and Central Bank. Ouachita National Bank merged on July 10, 1984, with the four largest Louisiana Banks to form Premier Bank, later acquired by Bank One. In 1995, Central Bank was acquired by First National Bank of Commerce, which was later acquired by Bank One.

Chase, which acquired Bank One in 2004, keeps alive the great traditions of those heritage banks by supporting local causes and being the largest private, for-profit employer in the parish.

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