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Seton Hall Drops Name of Donor/Felon

August 19, 2005

Dennis Kozlowski's lavish spending while he was chief executive of Tyco Inc. led to a series of criminal charges -- and a conviction in a New York court this year for which he could face 30 years in prison. He also spent on colleges, which were thrilled with his attention when he was a powerful executive, but are now a little shy about the connection to a felon.

Seton Hall University, Kozlowski's alma mater, announced Thursday that it had removed his name from an academic building that houses its colleges of business and of education and human services. From now on, the building will not be Kozlowski Hall, but Jubilee Hall, to honor the university's sesquicentennial. The Kozlowski name is also being removed from the rotunda of the university's library.

Kozlowski donated $3 million to Seton Hall from August 1997 to August 2000. The funds are not being returned.

A statement from Seton Hall said that Kozlowski spoke with the university's president, Msgr. Robert Sheeran, last month and requested that his name be removed. The statement quoted Monsignor Sheeran as saying that Kozlowski wanted "to spare Seton Hall any further adverse attention or distraction from its educational mission."

The university has been criticized for keeping the Kozlowski name up. In an article before Thursday's announcement, Bloomberg quoted Sheena Collum, the student government president, as saying: "Seton Hall puts a great deal of emphasis on ethics in society, and I don't think Mr. Kozlowski is an example to follow. It bothers me to keep his name on one of our buildings."

The Kozlowski name lives on elsewhere in higher education. Kozlowski was a donor and trustee at Middlebury College, which his daughters attended. He quit the board after the scandal broke about his spending of corporate money. A spokesman for Middlebury said that two funds Kozlowski created still bear the family name. The Kozlowski Fund supports a child care program for college employees. A scholarship fund is named for his daughters, Cheryl and Sandra.

 

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