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SunTrust establishes finance professorship in honor of Pamplin College of Business dean


BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 23, 2005 – SunTrust Banks Inc. is contributing $250,000 to Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business to establish the Richard E. Sorensen Professorship in Finance in honor of the college’s dean.

“SunTrust has always enjoyed supporting the communities in which we work and live,” said C. T. Hill, chairman, president, and CEO of SunTrust, Mid-Atlantic. “But we are especially pleased that our Mid-Atlantic Foundation could contribute this grant to Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business. We see it as an investment in the future business leaders of the country and one that will continually grow in value, as it helps to recruit or retain top-notch faculty members who can provide the best in education to Virginia Tech students.”

SunTrust and the Pamplin College have ties that span 25 years, said Sorensen, who has led the college for almost as long. Two professorships in finance were established in the 1980s by banks that were later acquired by or merged with SunTrust. The new gift, Sorensen said, “underscores our long and close relationship and the bank’s continued commitment to higher education.”

The professorship also demonstrates SunTrust’s appreciation of Sorensen’s leadership, said Pamplin Director of Corporate Relations Sam Albimino. Virginia Tech President Charles Steger said the dean’s strong leadership has enabled the college to continue making progress in the face of many challenges. “The college’s success as one of the best business schools in the nation,” Steger said, “can be partly credited to Dr. Sorensen’s efforts in creating highly successful relationships within the business community.”

Sorensen was also recently honored by Ferguson Enterprises and its employees, who pledged $250,000, in combined individual contributions and a corporate match, to endow the Richard E. Sorensen Junior Faculty Fellowship.

A native of Staten Island, N.Y., Sorensen received a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now Polytechnic University) and an MBA and a Ph.D. in management from New York University's Stern Graduate School of Business. Since July 1982, he has been dean of the Pamplin College, where his achievements include a $70 million fund-raising program and a comprehensive strategic planning effort. He currently chairs the board of directors of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, the premier accrediting agency for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting.

SunTrust Banks Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is one of the nation's largest commercial banking organizations. As of Dec. 31, 2004, it had total assets of $159.1 billion and total deposits of $103.4 billion. The company operates an extensive distribution network primarily in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, and also serves customers in selected markets nationally.

Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked Pamplin College of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting and information systems, business information technology, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, management, and marketing. The college emphasizes the development of leadership skills and ethical values and the integration of technology in the academic curriculum, and prepares students for global business challenges through faculty-led study abroad programs. A member of the college’s marketing faculty directs the interdisciplinary Sloan Foundation Forest Industries Center at Virginia Tech. The college’s other research centers focus on business leadership, electronic commerce, and organizational performance. The college is committed to serving business and society through the expertise of its faculty, alumni, and students.