E. Philip Saunders, the founder of truck-stop company TravelCenters of America, is giving $5 million to the Rochester Institute of Technology – and he's challenging others close to RIT to give, too.
The $5 million gift is contingent on RIT raising $15 million from other sources in the next six years. As the university comes closer to meeting that goal, more of Saunders' donation will be doled out.
The $20 million would be used to fund new professorships in financial innovation, product innovation and service innovation; expand the school's technology offerings; and improve RIT's facilities.
The business school at the university already carries Saunders' name – he endowed it with a $13 million gift in 2006. The school's president, Bill Destler, said the entrepreneur served as an inspiration to the entire RIT community.
"Phil knows firsthand the dedication it takes to be an entrepreneur – and he often cites hard work, drive, organization and a desire to win as paramount to success in the business community," Destler noted.
Now, Saunders' success in the business world will help others get on the path to academic achievement.