Alum Peter Paul Gives $25 Million to UNH for New Business School
By Lori Wright, Media Relations
June 11, 2008
Photo by Perry Smith, Photo Services
UNH has received a gift of $25 million – the single largest gift in
university history – from alumnus, entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter
T. Paul, a native of Troy, N.H., and 1967 graduate in business administration.
President Mark W. Huddleston made the announcement at a news conference this
“Words cannot fully express how grateful we are to Peter T. Paul for
his generosity and his longtime support of the University of New Hampshire.
Peter has been a true partner with the university, and his gift of $25 million
will have a profound impact on generations of students seeking a world-class
business education,” Huddleston said.
The gift will help fund construction of a new business college at the university,
which upon approval of the USNH Board of Trustees, will be named the Peter
T. Paul College of Business and Economics. In donating the gift, Paul is challenging
alumni, UNH supporters and the business community to raise the rest of the
money to fund the new college, which will cost about $50 million.
The Whittemore School of Business and Economics has a long, proud history
of offering a first-rate business education. In order to honor the past, UNH
must secure the future of its business programs with facilities that support
its students and its growth.
“I believe now is the time to make an investment in the future of UNH,
the state of New Hampshire, and the young people of this region. This gift,
from an old kid from New Hampshire, will require equal support from friends
of the university and business enterprises for us to be successful. That is
my challenge to you,” Paul said.
The new building is critically needed at UNH. Demand has outstripped supply,
and many well-qualified students who seek admission to the business school
are not accepted due to space constraints. When McConnell Hall, which is home
to the Whittemore School, was built in 1967, its capacity for 1,000 students
served the needs of the business school and business community. The school
now is beyond its capacity at 1,800 undergraduate students, with demand continuing
According to Daniel Innis, dean of the Whittemore School, the new building
will transform the undergraduate and graduate business education at UNH.
“The Whittemore School is a cutting-edge business school that is known
regionally and nationally for its strong undergraduate programs. The business
school also is well positioned to advance strong graduate programs and research
programs, consistent with the mission of UNH. An important part of the transformation
of the business school is a new facility that will provide the platform for
development and growth,” Innis said.
The college will be located at the university’s Entrepreneurial Campus
near Gregg Hall and the Jere Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory. The new building
will include “smart classrooms” – classrooms outfitted with
the latest technology that will allow students and faculty to record lectures
and download them onto iPods. The building also will include experiential learning
facilities for hands-on learning, informal gathering areas to encourage student
collaboration, a café, laboratory space for the hospitality program,
and the capacity for 2,500 students.
Paul is president of Paul Financial, LLC, a mortgage banking company he founded
in 2003. In addition, he is the owner and chairman of Peter Paul Wines, based
in Healdsburg, Calif., and is president of West Biofuels, a research development
venture working on thermo chemical conversion of agricultural and urban residue
(biomass) to biofuel and biopower. He is chairman of the board of The Headlands
Foundation, a nonprofit organization he founded in 1995.
The Headlands Foundation focuses on supporting local organizations and worthwhile
causes that make life better for children and their families. The foundation
has given away more than $4 million, primarily in the Northern Bay communities
of California, and more recently, to various community-based organizations
in the seacoast region of New Hampshire. Paul also has generously supported
educational programs at the University of New Hampshire, Boston University
and the public school systems in Marin County, Calif.
Paul is a recipient of the Ernst and Young 1999 Financial Services Entrepreneur
of the Year award. He received an alumni award for distinguished service from
The Graduate School of Management at Boston University in May 2003 and the
first annual Achievement in Business Award from the Whittemore School of Business
and Economics at the University of New Hampshire in April 2008.
In 2001, Paul made a leadership gift to establish the Peter T. Paul Chair
in Space Science and the Dr. Samuel E. Paul Chair in Developmental Psychology
in memory of Paul's father, a well-known and highly regarded physician who
practiced in Troy, N.H., for nearly 30 years.
Paul serves on the board of directors of the UNH Foundation and is a trustee
of Boston University. He resides in Larkspur, Calif., and Portsmouth, N.H.,
with his partner Jude Blake, UNH ’77. His daughter, Jessica Paul, resides
in Lakeview, Ore.
gallery images from news conference (all photos by Perry Smith, Photo