William & Mary to honor Mason


November 11, 2005|By VICTOR REKLAITIS

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The College of William & Mary's business school is expected to announce today that it is naming its new building after Legg Mason Inc. chief executive Raymond A. "Chip" Mason, a 1959 graduate of the school and a major donor.

William & Mary plans an event at 3 p.m. today at its business school, but a spokeswoman for the school declined to provide specifics on the event's purpose or who has been invited.

As part of a $500 million fundraising effort, the college had offered the naming rights to the new business school building in exchange for a $30 million donation.

It isn't clear whether Mason is giving $30 million or a smaller gift attached to a less significant naming right at the business school, which is unnamed. Officials at Baltimore-based Legg Mason and William & Mary declined to offer specifics.

Mason, 69, helped create the business school in 1967 and has given more than $5 million to it in recent years, including $4 million in April toward a new building and the hiring of faculty members. The business school's dean, Larry Pulley, has said the two men talk monthly about the direction of the school, strategies and fundraising.

In June, Mason agreed to a $3.7 billion deal with Citigroup in which Legg Mason is acquiring Citigroup's asset-management operations in exchange for Legg Mason's private-client and brokerage businesses. The deal, which is expected to be completed next month, will make Mason's company the world's fifth-largest money-management firm.

Victory Reklaitis is a reporter for the Daily Press in Newport News, Va.

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