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UVI Board Approves Loan for School of Medicine Endowment; Selects FUVI Board Member and Amends Bylaws

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In executive session of a special meeting of the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees held on May 4, the Board authorized UVI President David Hall, pursuant to the requirements of the Chirinjeev Kathuria gift agreement, to execute a loan to create an endowment for the UVI School of Medicine. The loan will be subsequently co-signed by Dr. Kathuria and will be paid through the proceeds of his gift. Eleven trustees voted in favor – Dr. Aletha Baumann, Dr. David Hall, Dr. Sharon McCollum, Alexander Moorhead, Nandi Sekou, Henry Smock, Jacqueline Sprauve, Patricia Steele, Edward Thomas, Sinclair Wilkinson and Dr. Wesley Williams. No one voted against the measure. Trustee Dr. Yvonne Thraen abstained from the vote. In April 2014, Dr. Kathuria made a $30 million gift commitment to help establish a state-of-the-art, Territory-wide medical school.

Dale LeFebvreWhile in executive session the Board also approved the selection of Dale LeFebvre to the Board of Directors for the Foundation for the University of the Virgin Islands (FUVI). Entrepreneur LeFebvre is the founder and chairman of Oson VI, LLC, a management, consulting and investment advisory firm. He has raised and managed over $1 billion for investors, institutions and money funds. President Barack Obama recently appointed LeFebvre to the Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2013, LeFebvre donated $250,000 to UVI to establish the LeFebvre Endowed Student Fellowship Award and the Oson VI, LLC Endowed Fund for Recruitment and Retention.

In the regular session prior to executive session, the Board approved amendments to the FUVI bylaws. The amendments were made to Article II of the bylaws, to clarify and expand the purposes for the foundation. The words “lend, borrow, sell, purchase, trade” were added to the list of the purposes for which the foundation is organized; likewise the terms “any gifts, legacies, bequests, devises, funds real and personal (property)” were added so that the amended portion reads: “Consistent with Article IV of the foundation’s Articles of Incorporation, the purposes for which the foundation is organized are to solicit, receive, hold, lend, borrow, sell, purchase, trade, invest, manage, use, dispose of and administer any gifts, legacies, bequests, devises, funds, real and personal property of all kinds, whether given absolutely or in trust, or by way of agency or otherwise for the benefit of the University, and for all the educational and support activities that may be conducted by the University.”

“The amendments expand the authorizations (so) that the board of directors for FUVI would be allowed to engage in these particular types of investment activities,” said Marie Thomas Griffith, UVI’s legal counsel. “We wanted to ensure that within the governing documents for the foundation itself we enumerated these items,” Thomas Griffith added.  

FUVI’s Executive Director Dr. Haldane Davies said the amendment was important as the FUVI Board moves forward to engage in other types of investment activities and “to ensure that our intergenerational equity is preserved so that we could exist way into the future.” Dr. Davies is also vice president for Business Development and Innovation at UVI. The amendments, already approved by the FUVI Board of Directors, needed to be approved by the UVI Board to become official.

The special meeting was held on the St. Thomas Campus, with several trustees joining via teleconference. The Board of Trustees last met on March 7, on St. Croix.