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  August 30, 2004

Neags Give $10 Million To UConn's Cancer Center

Ray and Carole Neag, two long-time UConn donors, have committed $10 million to the Health Center.

The announcement was made Aug. 3 during the Health Center's Board of Directors meeting.

The gift, the largest in the history of the Health Center, will be used by the cancer program to support the recruitment of clinical and research faculty, help renovate research and clinical space, purchase new equipment, and fund program expansion.

The cancer center will be renamed The Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. A dedication ceremony will be held next month.

The Neags, of Wyomissing, Penn., have a long history of support for UConn, Ray Neag's alma mater. In 1999, he gave the University $23 million, including $21 million to the School of Education, which was renamed the Neag School, and $2 million to the Health Center to establish the Ray Neag Distinguished Chair in Vascular Biology. That chair is held by Dr. Bruce Liang.

"Carole and I have long been impressed by the phenomenal care and groundbreaking research taking place at the Health Center under Peter Deckers' leadership," said Neag. "We've seen firsthand the advances that are occurring daily within the cancer center, and understand the tremendous implications for those whose lives are affected by this disease."

Neag said he and his wife hope their gift will contribute towards finding a cure for cancer in their lifetimes.

Dr. Peter Deckers, executive vice president and dean of the School of Medicine, said, "This extraordinary philanthropic commitment assures that we can continue to implement our vision for the cancer signature program on a fast-tracked and uninhibited timeline. We are grateful for Carole's and Ray's generosity and simply awed by the depth of their commitment to the university."

Dr. Carolyn Runowicz, director of the cancer center, said she believes the UConn center is poised to become one of the most outstanding comprehensive cancer centers in the country. "We now provide exceptional care," she said. "With this gift, we will have the capacity to expand our critically important clinical and research efforts."

Ray Neag, a Torrington native and a 1956 UConn graduate, is the retired co-founder and vice chairman of Arrow International Inc., a leading manufacturer of disposable critical care and cardiac care products for the medical industry. Carole Neag, also a Torrington native, is a registered nurse.

The gift was received by the UConn Foundation after the end of the fiscal year and is not considered part of the Campaign UConn total.