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RhodeWays the impact of private support at the university of rhode isl and y summer 2015

a publication of the uri foundation z 79 upper college road, kingston, ri z 401.874.7900 z urifoundation.org

Sailing to Success uri team navigates into nationals, with a little help from donors

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n May, a young URI women’s sailing team placed eighth in the national championship and fifth overall in the Eastern Conference, the hotbed of collegiate sailing. In the country’s most competitive district, URI sails against teams from Yale, Dartmouth, Boston College, and Tufts. Everyone connected with the sport knows that small fish URI sailing wouldn’t exist in this big pond without generous supporters who are determined to see it not only grow but thrive. “We can’t survive without private support,” said coach Rollin “Skip” Whyte, ’72, who led underdog Boston University to first place at nationals and was an Olympic coach. “There would be no coach without private support. It comes from dues from students and friends and families of team members and alumni and most generous benefactors like Harry.” Whyte is talking about Commodore Henry H. Anderson Jr. A promoter and patron of intercollegiate sailing, Anderson is founder, chairman, and chairman emeritus of the American Sail-

URI's sailing team takes to the water for practice.

ing Training Association. He’s raced or served as an official in almost every major yachting event in the world. He’s dedicated his life to sailing and created an endowment to help URI Sailing succeed. continued on page 6

Challenge Accepted! $500,000 ryan challenge inspires donors to create 24 new scholarships

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he goal of a $500,000 challenge from URI alumnus Tom Ryan ’75 and his wife Cathy, back in 2007, was simple: to motivate and encourage the support of others who might be inclined to create new scholarships to support pharmacy students at URI. Their gift, designed to provide a dollar for dollar match to alumni and friends creating new endowed scholarships, did just that. Under the Ryan Challenge, a significant number of donors, making a minimum gift of $12,500, stepped up and took advantage of the opportunity to effectively double their own gifts, creating 24 new endowed scholarships at URI. To date, nearly 100 URI pharmacy students have received scholar-

Tom ’75 and Cathy Ryan

ship awards from these funds and countless others will benefit for generations to come. At the time of the gift, the Ryans said they were proud of the College of Pharmacy and its work in research, outreach and teaching. They had seen many bright and ambitious students launch successful careers after leaving URI. With the outcome and impact of their gift now clear, Tom Ryan, the former chairman, president, and chief executive officer of CVS Caremark, says he is pleased. “I have seen this sort of challenge work successfully in other charitable organizations and the idea itself, in fact, stimulated our family to give, so I am very happy to see that it worked at URI. continued on page 6


Late professor’s bequest will support biological oceanography at GSO those who knew ted napora are not surprised by his commitment to uri students

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he Napora Fund for Biological OceanFrom 1978 until his death, Napora spent Easters and Christmases ography at the University of Rhode Iswith them. land’s Graduate School of Oceanography Donaldson and Gaines gathered in Newport last year, along (GSO) has been established with a $255,000 with many former GSO students, to commit Napora’s ashes to the bequest from the late Theodore A. “Ted” Napowaters off Castle Hill. Napora worked at GSO from 1959 to 1991, ra, professor emeritus. A South Kingstown resiand was generous with his students, treating them to nice dindent, Napora died on Feb. 9, 2014 at age 86. The ners several times a year, often at the Inn at Castle Hill. Students University recently received his bequest. came from as far as the Midwest, Florida, New Jersey, and WashHis gift will support research and educaington D.C. to say goodbye to their beloved professor and commit tional activities of graduate students pursuing him to the waters he loved. “This is 35 years after he had left GSO biological oceanography, according to GSO and it was a very emotional event for a lot of strong men who were Dean Bruce Corliss. Corliss earned his Ph.D. really shaken at the loss of him,” said Gaines, a fellow oceanogTed Napora from GSO in the ’70s when Napora was assisrapher who’s worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute tant dean for students. He recalled the closeness Napora enjoyed for more than 30 years. with his students and the significant impact In addition to Donaldson and Gaines, he made on their personal and professional Napora maintained lifelong relationships lives and on GSO. with former GSO students Chris Brown, “He was instrumental in laying the founBarclay Collins, John Kosmark, and Peter dation for a program that has existed the last deMenocal, Corliss said. Remembered as 50 years,” he said. “The graduate program an intellectual and a scholar who took scihas been one of the most prolific in the counence seriously, Napora loved to socialize try and he played a significant role in develand was an avid reader and book collector. oping it. His gift will serve as a tribute to his He also enjoyed music and was a talented life’s work.” artist who could paint and sketch brilliantly Arthur Gaines, of Falmouth, Mass., who — something that awed his students. “His did GSO coursework with Napora in the late favorite saying was, ‘work diligently for your ’60s and early ’70s, remembered that Naposalvation,’” Donaldson remembered. “It was ra would host a daily meeting for students, important to not just be a scientist but to where conversation flowed and collegiality have other interests.” was built. “When you are an undergraduate, Napora came to URI as a research asyour job is to go to class and take notes,” sociate in 1959 and was named an instrucA URI GSO Biological Oceanography Gaines said. “As a graduate student, you’re tor the same year. He became an assistant student conducts research on the water. part of the team, learning and discovering professor in 1964, was promoted to associnew things no one knew before. You are a producer of knowledge, ate professor in 1972, and retired in 1991. He was named GSO’s not just a consumer… Ted was very comfortable with that transifirst assistant dean for students in 1968, a post he held until 1987. tion in people’s lives. With his personality he made it seem all He served in the Army in the U.S. Forces in Austria during the very natural.” closing years of WWII. He graduated from Columbia University In 1967, Henry Donaldson came to GSO to earn his Ph.D., and with a B.S. in biology, followed by an M.S. in oceanography at URI, Napora was the major professor for his thesis. They became close and a Ph.D. in zoology at Yale University. friends. “I had moved from Oregon to Rhode Island and I had no According to Rita A. Versepy, director of gift planning for the family here and there were other students in the same situation,” University of Rhode Island Foundation, charitable bequests are a he said. “Ted was a bachelor and he didn’t have a lot of family popular planned gift vehicle, often used to facilitate an individueither so around the holidays, groups of students would get toal’s capstone gift to URI. “Professor Napora’s generous bequest gether, as we couldn’t go home, and because of that a kind of will fund a new, permanent endowment which will be invested in social relationship was built as well as an academic one.” perpetuity, providing support, in his name, for generations.” After earning his Ph.D. in 1974, Donaldson and his wife For information on creating your own legacy gift to URI visit moved to Pittsburgh but they remained very close with Napora. www.urifoundation.org or call 401.874.9530.

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Networking in New York City mba students head to the world’s largest executive search firm to connect with uri business alums

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tudents in the University of Rhode Island’s one-year Master of Business Administration Program recently had a chance to network with business professionals in New York City at the world’s largest executive search firm. The 21 students spent an evening at Korn Ferry’s headquarters on Park Avenue, meeting with business alumni in the area representing various professions, companies, and industries from biotechnology and executive search firms to Google. These visiting professionals heard from a recent URI MBA graduate who is working in Manhattan and from URI’s MBA Program Director Anthony Wheeler. Host and alum Jodi Fournier The visit was made possible with the support of Jodi Fournier, ’82, administrative officer for Korn and URI’s MBA Program Ferry’s New York office. Fournier, a regular donor to URI and active alum, serves as a volunteer admisDirector and Spachman sions rep in New York and Connecticut on behalf of the University and on the College of Business Professor of Human Resources Management Anthony Wheeler. Administration Dean’s Advisory Board. She loved the idea of bringing current MBA students together with established business alums in Manhattan. “It’s an opportunity for alums to hear about this fabulous MBA program we have going right now because it’s so much more than an ordinary MBA program,” she said. “The students will network with New York alums and the New York alums will get a firsthand view of the program and the fabulous talent that URI is turning out.” In the fall of 2012, URI introduced an overhauled one-year MBA Program with a breakthrough interdisciplinary approach across all areas of business. The program was moved to the downtown Feinstein Providence Campus so students could be closer to the businesses and executives who play a key role in the curriculum. Fournier said many of the alumni who attended the presentation have strong connections and contacts that go well beyond New York City and may benefit the MBA students who came to Korn Ferry, business cards in hand. Wheeler agreed the event was a great opportunity to showcase the MBA Program and for this group of future business professionals to practice their networking skills. “One of the draws of this event was it sent a strong signal to the New York area and Tri-state alums to come here and meet each other and meet our students and remember them when you are looking for your next employee,” Wheeler said. The Korn Ferry visit illustrates how private support, in this case dollars raised to support the Fund for URI: College of Business Administration, is making a direct impact on the student experience at URI, Fournier said. / photos by steven lisi

Many URI students attended the Korn Ferry event, which provided them the opportunity to meet business professionals and URI alumni. URI RhodeWays summer 2015 |

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Student scholarships: privat creating E meet jose diaz ’15

Embracing business with his own entrepreneurial vision

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ose Diaz ’15 is all business. Jose, 29, graduated in May, majoring in entrepreneurial management at URI’s College of Business Administration. A fulltime real estate agent for four years, he’s started two companies during his college career. “I want to create a foundation,” he said of his education, “and build wealth and go and do things I want to do and have the flexibility to do them. It is really appealing to me to be my own boss and work for myself and create my own rules.” A full-time realtor and full-time student from Cranston, Jose is always working in some way. He commutes to and from campus on public transportation so he can use the time on the bus to work versus driving. He is busy building the companies he helped create while in school. One is the IT consulting firm ATIA Solutions. “We help to optimize people’s business efficiency,” he said. “To make their business run more efficiently and create more revenue for them.” The other company is Nemibee, an online retailer selling women’s fashion accessories.. As an older student with a different mindset than his younger counterparts, Jose said he enjoyed URI’s “open learning environment” and felt that his voice was heard and his opinions were valued. Receiving the Frederick Newton Endowed Scholarship was a welcome development and he wanted the donor to know he appreciated the faith placed in him. “I am very appreciative of the opportunity and the help that he gave me that allowed me to pursue my dreams and ambitions and create the future that I envision for myself,” Jose said. “Knowing I am working toward something I enjoy is very rewarding.” He looks forward to creating and building successful companies and helping other entrepreneurs do the same. He values education and believes business people should sustain a learning environment so they can constantly reach their goals. Knowledge is the most important concept to entertain. He encourages people to embrace personal development. As for the future, he is optimistic. “It’s always hard to tell what the future holds for you,” he said, “but I know what I want it to look like.”

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E meet kevin drumm ’15

International travels take recipient out of his comfo

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hen Kevin Drumm ’15 went to Spa to study at TECNUN-University of life was like abroad, a trip taken wit rable experiences this year were: taking in the improv comedy in Spanish with the theater clu workers in Puerto Vallarta. This year has been started that I had no idea what to expect. Whe no way to know what will happen, no matter ho An East Greenwich resident majoring in m pleted a semester-long internship in Leon, Gua Island company Hope Global. An avid drumme returned from Mexico knowing how to salsa — plans, he wants to learn plenty of new things. “ sion I choose,” said Kevin, who has also receive morial Fund and the Toray Plastics America me to consistently come out of my comfort zon His time at URI was busy with Kevin servin entation, treasurer and president of the Studen Philanthropy Council and the Latin American S


ate support opportunity

e scholarship ort zone

ain with the International Engineering Program (IEP) f Navarra, he reported back to the program what his th help from a Demers Fellowship: “My most memoe wonder of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, doing ub at Tecnun, and relaxing on the beach with my con exactly what I expected, in that I realized before it en you immerse yourself in another culture, there is ow many classes you’ve taken or books you’ve read.” mechanical engineering and Spanish, Kevin also comanajuato, Mexico as a product engineer for the Rhode er and aspiring guitarist, he enjoys making music and — both the dance and the sauce. Even in his career “I hope to be a mentor and leader in whatever profesed scholarships from the Matthew D. Flores ’90 Mea, Inc. Scholarship. “I want to have a job that allows ne.” ng as Student Program Coordinator for Freshman Orint Alumni Association, and a member of the Student Student Association. In addition to working off campus jobs, he assisted with Professor Mohammad Faghri on the Lab on a Chip paper-based, bloodtesting project, served as a student coordinator for the Tunghai Summer Exchange Program, and as a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. For students just starting at URI, Kevin encourages them to set personal goals throughout their college experience, as he did. Kevin was fortunate, saying, “The scholarships I’ve received during my time at URI have allowed me to broaden my horizons through internships, involvement and study abroad. The private support helped reduce the amount of time and energy that I had to spend trying to make money, which left me a lot more time for school and involvement. I’ve grown so much from the experiences that donors helped make possible, and I’ve been inspired to do the same for others when I’m able.”

E meet kai younger ’17

Adult nursing student no longer putting her dreams on hold

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ai Younger ’17 has dreamed of becoming a nurse or a doctor since she was six. But Kai, who is 41, has seen her dream deferred multiple times starting when she was 15 and her mother died of cancer, leaving Kai and her five siblings to struggle to remain together. She attempted college but became a medical assistant, a job she had for 16 years before being diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. She endured more than a dozen surgeries and was out of work during her illness, losing everything. When asked how she was feeling, she cheerfully said, “Every day I’m alive is a good day. That is why I am such a go-getter. Life is short.” No longer delaying her dream, Kai is expected to graduate with her nursing degree in the fall of 2017, becoming her family’s first college graduate. Kai said living on her income from a part-time job doing hemodialysis at VA Medical Center while paying tuition is tremendously hard. She’s grateful to have received the Lynda Sacco Joseph Nursing Scholarship and thankful to the donors who created it. “Thank you for the opportunity to live out that dream, to allow me to aspire to be what I always felt I could be. Without the help of people like them, it wouldn’t happen or it would be more of a struggle for me, and I am grateful for them easing the burden off me.” Kai had been working to create an organization supporting minority nursing students at URI that would foster health promotion and education for underrepresented minorities. But her efforts were put on the backburner when her 12-year-old nephew was diagnosed with aggressive bone cancer. He is undergoing treatment at Dana Farber and her nurturing instincts will serve her well as she works with URI Nursing to plan a bone marrow drive in the hopes of finding him a matching donor.

a gift to the uri endowment creates support for your favorite purpose, including scholarships, that will continue that will continue for generations. Interested in a great way to make a lasting impact with your gift to URI? Consider creating or donating to an endowment. For more information, call 401.874.7900.

URI RhodeWays summer 2015 |

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ryan challenge accepted

sailing team advances to nationals

continued from page 1

continued from page 1

Sometimes those inclined to give just need a little push to make it happen. A challenge match can be an effective call to action,” said Ryan. The generosity shown by the Ryans and each of the donors contributing toward funding the newly created scholarships has, in turn, motivated the student recipients. “I am extremely grateful for the generous donation that helped me further my education here at the University,” said Hannah Shorty, recipient of the Charles B. & Joan H. Frost Pharmacy Endowment, one of the new endowments created by the Challenge. “My scholarship has allowed me to be one step closer to achieving my goal of becoming a pharmacist. I hope one day I will be able to help other students achieve their goal just as I have been helped.” Continuing the cycle of giving back is just what Ryan, who co-chaired the private fundraising campaign for URI’s $54 million Ryan Center, and also served as a member of the comprehensive $128 million Making a Difference campaign’s Leadership Committee, hopes student scholarship recipients will do when they are able. “My message to students would be that you were fortunate to receive this scholarship and I want you to remember this so when, years from now, you are fortunate enough and you have the ability to give back, you do the same,” said Ryan, who, with his wife, is the University’s single largest benefactor, having personally committed nearly $21 million to support URI. In 2013 the couple donated $15 million, the largest private donation in URI’s history, to establish the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience at URI, which is named in honor of Ryan’s parents. But Ryan stressed that the size or the amount of the gift is not the issue. “I think it’s important to give back to your alma mater if you can. The University is all about the students and the people who have graduated before them. URI gave me a lot and I was lucky, later on, to work at a great company. I feel it’s my obligation to give back.” Christopher Wilkosz received Ryan’s message of giving when he was honored with the Joseph Burghardt Endowment, created as a result of the Ryan Challenge. He is grateful to the Ryans and the Burghardt family for their support. “It is an honor to benefit from your magnanimity, and I can only hope to do the same for future students pursuing a career in pharmacy,” said Wilkosz, who added that the scholarship will help keep him grounded and working hard. “Your acts of kindness are very much appreciated!”

“In the world of givers and takers, Harry is a giver in the extreme,” said Jamie Hilton ’83. “Harry convinced me of his thinking that in sailing one can develop a tremendous amount of character and can learn how to create, adapt, and build character. Harry wants to see young people develop character and personal confidence.” Hilton met Anderson in 1978 when he sailed the New York Yacht Club Commodore “Harry” Anderson (NYYC) cruise. Every night his sailboat tied up to a luxury yacht that Anderson was on and the sailors got to know each other. By the cruise’s end, Anderson made Hilton an important offer. “Harry said he was getting a new boat and taking delivery the following spring and would I be interested in being captain of the boat,” Hilton recalled. “I was 19 years old and the answer was, ‘yes!’” The following year Hilton transferred to URI. He got involved with URI Sailing. So did Anderson. The team lacked facilities and many boats were stored at Hilton’s Bonnet Shores rental. They sailed Beverly Dinghies, which Hilton called “real hunks of junk” and when Anderson, who graduated in 1942 from Yale, learned the team desperately needed a new fleet, he bought Yale’s used boats and gave them to URI. It marked the start of his ongoing involvement.

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Anderson, who is 94 and a fourth-generation yachtsman, was instrumental in moving the team from East Greenwich to Salt Pond in Wakefield, which was closer to campus and provided a more sheltered home that connects to Point Judith and Block Island Sound. He co-chaired the fundraising effort for a modern sailing pavilion, which opened in 1992, and features the Harry Anderson Room, an essential meeting and classroom area. “That was a big improvement,” Anderson said, recalling that the shed the team had been using didn’t even have heat. Anderson also established the Henry H. Anderson Jr. Sailing Endowment, which provides vital support to the sailing team. Anderson first sailed the Newport-to-Bermuda race at age 15 and he could relate to the URI sailors, many of whom would crew for him. “It’s a club sport run by undergraduates and it’s good experiential training,” Anderson said, stressing that students must be dedicated, learn teamwork, be organized, and know how to handle their boats. “It’s a challenge and they are also challenged by the elements. They must face what is coming.” With a coach, sailors, and donors who are all committed to the team, URI sailing will continue to be a competitive force in the most competitive region of the country. “The future looks bright,” Whyte said.


Corporate R.I. steps up for Engineering at URI corporations and voters support question 4 ! ou y k an h t

Pictured, at the Yes on 4 kickoff last fall, front row (l-r): Former Governor Linc Chafee, URI Engineering student Rachel Andronowitz ’16, alumnus Alfred Rodriguez ’12​ M.S. ’14, Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. Back row (l-r): Cheryl Merchant, Hope Global; Mike Brandmeier, Toray; John Hazen White, Jr., Taco; President Dave Dooley; and College of Engineering Dean Ray Wright.

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ost people are aware that both voters and corporations in Rhode Island overwhelmingly supported passage of a $125 million bond question to create a 21st century facility for URI engineering students and faculty and a brighter economic future for the state. What they may not know is that supplementing the bond financing will be $8 million in private gifts from top Rhode Island corporations. Among the top gift pledges are Toray Plastics (America) with $2 million, FM Global with $1 million, Taco with $400,000, and an anonymous gift of $2.5 million from a URI alum and corporate leader. The College has set a $20 million private fundraising goal. In addition to thanking voters, URI President David M. Dooley said, “I also owe a deep debt of gratitude to the businesses of Rhode Island, the civic leaders, and the construction and trade union leadership and membership, all who provided critical advocacy, financial support, and votes for this bond issue.” URI College of Engineering Dean Raymond Wright said businesses throughout the state that rely on talented engineering graduates supported passage of the bond issue in many ways, including donations and volunteer efforts. “From the launch of the bond campaign at Toray Plastics in late September, we have had nothing but overwhelming support from the Rhode Island business community,” Wright said. The future of the College of Engineering will include a new 195,000-squarefoot building that will replace five existing engineering buildings on the Kingston campus, all of which opened in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Student Philanthropy Council Places in National Competition

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he University’s Student Philanthropy Council is one of two runners-up in the national student philanthropy competition, Generous U, run by the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University. The Student Philanthropy Council will receive $2,500. “This award is a testament to the dedication and creativity of URI students who are reaching out to educate their peers about the importance of philanthropy,” said URI Foundation Assistant Director of Annual Giving Joanne Gemma. Created in 2011, the Student Philanthropy Council encourages a culture of philanthropy, pride, and donor appreciation among students and raises money for the Students First Fund, an emergency fund for students. It’s coordinated through the Foundation’s Annual Giving Office in collaboration with the Student Alumni Association. The Council educates students about the impact of giving and shows the impact through a fund that’s helped 26 students since 2013. While preparing the application for the competition, Council members were able to see how much of an impact they’d made, said Council student chair Hannah Zawia ’18. The Council’s application included a video, made by the SPC members, which can be viewed on URIFoundation.org. “It was so rewarding to be selected and have our program highlighted as one of the best in the nation,” Zawia said.

the power of matching gifts F

Nearly 450 donors had their gifts to URI matched last year, bringing in over $260,000 in additional donations. Visit www.matchinggifts.com/uri to see if your company participates. URI RhodeWays summer 2015 | 7


Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Providence, RI Rhode Ways is published to showcase philanthropy and demonstrate the impact of private support at the University of Rhode Island.

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To learn more about the impact of charitable giving on URI students and the entire university community, visit urifoundation.org. For more information on anything contained in this newsletter, please contact Tracey Manni, managing editor, at 401.874.2145 or tracey_manni@uri.edu. Managing Editor: Tracey A. Manni Chief Writer: Ericka Tavares ’88 Contributing Photographers: Joe Giblin Nora Lewis Steven Lisi GSO URI Athletics

“Hoops for the Stars” is a slam dunk for local school children

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ith generous financial support from the National Grid Foundation, URI Athletics provided thousands of local students and parents the opportunity to earn tickets to URI men’s and women’s basketball games in return for hard work in the classroom and positive behavior in the community. In its second year, the “Hoops for the Stars” program underscores a shared commitment by URI Athletics and the National Grid Foundation to create opportunities for solutions to educational issues within local school districts. Throughout the season, students were recognized on the court during basketball games for their performance in the classroom and the community. URI basketball players and head coaches Dan Hurley and Daynia La-Force visited local schools to reinforce the importance of education. “The dedication of URI’s coaches, staff and administration has a profound impact on improving the lives of thousands of deserving Rhode Island students, and we are proud to play a small role in their success!” said National Grid Foundation President Bob Keller, pictured at right with participating Rhode Island school children.

thank you

To each and every one of the 11,255 donors and friends who supported URI with a gift in the recently closed fiscal year, thank you! Your generous support, no matter the size of your gift, is helping to make big things happen at URI and we are most grateful.

Uri rhodeways giving news summer 2015  

Foundation produced newsletter showcasing the impact of private support at URI.

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