Gift to be used to help fund acclaimed graduate advertising school's new building, attract next generation of diverse advertising and marketing leaders
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 15, 2007--The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced today that it will donate $1 million toward a development campaign for the Virginia Commonwealth University Adcenter, making the agency holding company a lead donor to the nationally acclaimed graduate advertising school.
The VCU Adcenter is in the midst of a $10 million development campaign that will help pay for its new home - a Clive Wilkinson-designed building slated to open in December. The capital campaign will also establish an endowment for future needs and strategic initiatives, including minority recruitment. Interpublic's leadership gift of $1 million, to be paid over five years, will be used in part to identify, attract and train the next generation of diverse, talented and qualified advertising and marketing leaders.
"The VCU Adcenter is one of the leading advertising schools in the country," said Michael I. Roth, Chairman and CEO of Interpublic. "We commend the school on its ambition of bringing into our industry young people that are prepared to raise the standards of performance in every facet of the business. That's consistent with our stated goals of developing our talent base to meet the increasingly complex needs of clients in today's marketing environment. We also share with our new partners a commitment to the importance of increasing diversity for the long-term good of our industry."
The VCU Adcenter was founded in 1996 and is the first graduate program in advertising to combine business-oriented communications strategy and brand management tactics. The Adcenter, ranked the No. 1 advertising program in the United States by Creativity magazine in 2005, has about 175 students, 38 percent of whom are minority and 53 percent of whom are women.
"We are extremely grateful to IPG for this generous leadership commitment which will help us continue to build a stronger curriculum in order to supply new talent to our industry," said Rick Boyko, the director of the VCU Adcenter since 2003. "We take great pride in the fact that we are not just training and developing a diverse new breed of creative, but also strategic planners and brand managers. Financial support such as IPG's is critical to creating the next generation of leaders who will enter the business world understanding how to think creativity and work collaboratively."
The VCU Adcenter's new home - a historic building in the shadow of The Jefferson Hotel, one of Richmond's and Virginia's finest hotels - will encompass 27,000 square feet. Wilkinson, who's designed spaces for Google, Disney Store Kingdom, and advertising agencies such as TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles, Mother, London, and JWT New York, is the project's lead architect along with Richmond-based Baskervill.
Interpublic is one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. Major global brands include Draftfcb, FutureBrand, GolinHarris International, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, Lowe Worldwide, MAGNA Global, McCann Erickson, Momentum, MRM Worldwide, Octagon, Universal McCann and Weber Shandwick. Leading domestic brands include Campbell-Ewald, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, Mullen and The Martin Agency. For more information, please visit www.interpublic.com.
About the VCU Adcenter
Interpublic is one Started in 1996, the VCU Adcenter is the first graduate program in advertising to combine business-oriented communications strategy and brand management tracks with a creative program for art directors and copywriters in a business setting. It was formed to develop the skills of talented post-graduates, enabling them to enter the business world with a highly competitive portfolio of collaborative thinking. The VCU Adcenter is the graduate advertising and branding program for the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. The program offers four tracks: Art Direction, Copywriting, Creative Brand Management and Communications Strategy. VCU Adcenter students earn a Masters of Science degree in mass communications with a concentration in advertising. It is a two-year, full time program that begins each fall.
Philippe Krakowsky, 212-704-1328
Jerry Leshne, 212-704-1439
Virginia Commonwealth University
Tom Gresham, 804-828-6051
SOURCE: Interpublic Group