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Fogelman Gift

Already a major player in sustainable technologies research, the University of Memphis has added another program that will have a major effect on the greening of America and bring worldwide attention to the University. (Pictured: Robert Fogelman, Vice President, Fogelman Investment Company)

The UofM has announced a major gift from the Fogelman family that will fund a Fogelman College Sustainable Real Estate program in the Fogelman College of Business & Economics. It also will fund an endowed Chair of Excellence: the Martha and Robert Fogelman Family Chair of Excellence in Sustainable Real Estate, bringing the University's total to 25 Chairs of Excellence, the most of any state university in Tennessee. It will bring a leading professor in the field of real estate to fill the new chair.

Fogelman College Dean Rajiv Grover said, "Focusing on this area makes sense, as, among other things, real estate accounts for 39 percent of energy consumption and 38 percent of carbon dioxide emissions."

Much of those numbers come via the construction side of real estate. The Fogelmans are donating $2 million to the new program that will help the UofM continue its mission of being a leader in sustainability technology design and research.

"Sustainability is something you hear a lot about," UofM Provost Ralph Faudree said during the May 12 gift announcement. "What we're going to do is more than talk about it. We're going to do something about it."

The gift will also fund an annual forum that will include worldwide leaders in real estate practices that are friendly to the environment.

University President Shirley Raines said, "It's not enough in the academic world to simply admire a problem. We've admired the problem of what it takes to do things differently. But we want to do something about the problem."

Drawing worldwide accolades to the UofM and Memphis as a leader in sustainable real estate is just one of three goals, Robert Fogelman said.

The new professorship will be filled by this fall with a visiting scholar and eventually with a "heavy hitter" as the permanent holder, Grover said. The first sustainable real estate forum will be in 2011.

For a related story, visit http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/may/14/talking-and-doing/