T. Rowe Price donating dirt to Stevenson University campus

An ancient Hindu proverb states, “To the wise man or woman, a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same.” For Stevenson University, these ancient words could not be truer. Owings Mills neighbor, T. Rowe Price, is about to dump 25,000 cubic yards of dirt on Stevenson, and the University could not be happier: this donation of dirt will save the institution about $250,000.

The caravan of trucks start rolling from T. Rowe Price’s Painters Mill Road campus to Stevenson’s Owings Mills Boulevard campus June 15.

“Our Owings Mills campus is growing, and we are in the midst of preparing sites for a new parking lot, campus entrance, and 60,000-square-foot gymnasium,” said Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D., president of Stevenson University. “Needless to say, we need fill dirt, and at current rates, it would cost us between $250,000 and $350,000 to have enough trucked in. T. Rowe Price’s offer to give us its excess will save us a significant amount of money on these projects.”

T. Rowe Price will provide Stevenson with approximately 25,000 cubic yards of fill dirt, the equivalent of about 2,500 standard dump truck loads. The surplus dirt accumulated from the construction of two new buildings at T. Rowe Price’s Financial Center Campus on Painters Mill Road which began in fall 2007.

“The market for fill dirt has changed,” said Mark Ruhe, vice president for Real Estate at T. Rowe Price. “During construction boom times, it becomes a commodity that you can sell. In economic downtimes, it is difficult to find buyers. As a result, we had expected to pay a rubble fill to accept the large quantity that we have, not to mention transportation costs. Instead, with Stevenson accepting it for free and our trucking costs reduced due to the close proximity of our sites, T. Rowe Price stands to save about $300,000 that it would otherwise have to spend.”

“This is a classic win-win for both parties,” added Ruhe, who noted it goes beyond the financial benefits. “T. Rowe Price has a long history of community involvement, and strongly believes that fostering educational excellence is the greatest investment we can make in our communities. So, we’re very pleased to be able to help Stevenson achieve its educational mission.”

“The University is currently in the last stretch of a three-year, $20 million fundraising campaign,” said Steve Close, vice president for Institutional Advancement at Stevenson. “As with all higher education institutions, donations of dollars are always welcomed.”

But a donation in-kind — in this case dirt — can sometimes be just what a growing university needs to achieve a specific institutional goal, Close added. T. Rowe Price’s dirt helps fill a big hole in a construction budget.

“In other words,” Close said, “we really dig this donation.”

Stevenson University, known for its distinctive career focus, is the third-largest undergraduate university in Maryland with more than 3,400 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and adult accelerated degrees at locations in Stevenson and Owings Mills.

Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price is a global investment management organization with $268.8 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2009. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries. The company also offers a variety of sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price’s disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research.

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