Kozlowski building is renamed at Seton Hall

Name of ex-CEO at Tyco is removed at his request

August 19, 2005|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Seton Hall University has removed the name of L. Dennis Kozlowski, the convicted former chief executive of Tyco International Ltd., from a building on campus.

The name was removed at Kozlowski's request, said Thomas White, a Seton Hall spokesman, who said the building was renamed Jubilee Hall.

Seton Hall, a Roman Catholic school of 10,000 students in South Orange, N.J., has had at least three buildings named for convicted felons.

Kozlowski, a 1968 Seton Hall graduate, faces up to 30 years in prison after being convicted of grand larceny and defrauding shareholders at Tyco. His name also came off a rotunda in the library, White said.

"Seton Hall is a place where faith matters, where personal responsibility and values are central to our academic mission, so it does come as a relief to many that it has been removed," White said.

Students and faculty said in interviews earlier this year that they were troubled by having the name of a felon on a school building.

Harvard University, Brown University and the University of Missouri are among schools that named buildings after benefactors who were later indicted or convicted. Some have decided to keep the names.

Seton Hall was named for Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first U.S.-born saint. It once had a gym named after Robert E. Brennan, a 1965 Seton Hall alumnus who was convicted of money laundering. The board voted to remove Brennan's name in 2002. Brennan, 61, founded First Jersey Securities Inc. in Colts Neck, N.J.

The school still has a library named for Frank Walsh Jr., a former Tyco board member who pleaded guilty to securities fraud in 2002. The school has no plans to remove Walsh's name, White said.

Kozlowski's attorney, Stephen E. Kaufman, didn't immediately return calls for comment yesterday.

The six-story building formerly named for Kozlowski houses the school of business and the psychology department, among other tenants.

Kozlowski gave $3 million to Seton Hall University between August 1997 and 2000, White said. He said Kozlowski made the request to remove his name in a telephone conversation with the school's president, Monsignor Robert Sheeran, in late July.

Matthew McCue, who as former editor of the Setonian school newspaper criticized Seton Hall for the building's name, called the change "a positive step for Seton Hall as the new school year opens."

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