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tennessee technological university

TTU News

Financial institutions are known for making healthy investment choices, but SunTrust Banks took that practice literally when it contributed $25,000 to a fundraising effort for a new and badly needed School of Nursing facility at Tennessee Tech University.

Representatives of the corporation — which established a customer contact center in Cookeville about a year-and-a-half ago to assist clients with their Internet banking needs — describe the donation as a way of “recognizing the value of the university.”

“SunTrust doesn’t have an actual bank branch in Cookeville,” said Lillian Hartgrove, group vice president and center manager for SunTrust Online Inc. “Our facility focuses on banking via telephone, Internet, e-mail and other electronic media, and TTU President Bob Bell and other university representatives were instrumental in community education efforts when we began planning to locate here.

“Part of the reason we decided to make this donation to TTU is because it serves as a means of saying thank you for that and the many other things that have helped us create a mutually beneficial relationship with the university,” she continued.

When the new nursing facility is constructed, TTU officials — in return for the corporation’s generosity — plan to name its student computer lab in honor of SunTrust Banks.

The total estimated cost of the new building — the first ever to be specifically constructed for the 25-year-old academic program — is $21 million, and university officials hope to complete the public phase of that goal by July 2005.

Of that cost, $17 million will be for the construction and equipment of the new facility, and $4 million will be for establishing a Rural Health Center of Excellence program.

Some other features of the new building will include state-of-the-art classrooms, clinical labs and faculty facilities, a 300-seat auditorium, other conference and meeting rooms and an updated Student Health Services facility.

For more information about the nursing campaign, call University Development at 931/372-3055 or check out the “Giving to TTU” link on the university homepage at