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A $25,000 gift from a 1967 University at Buffalo graduate is helping finance a new five-year study of housing and other issues facing the neighborhood surrounding UB's South Campus, UB officials announced.

Robert G. Morris of Peekskill, the UB economics graduate who donated the funds, said he supports the university's 13-month-old initiative to become a better neighbor to the community surrounding the South Campus.

"The neighborhood near the Main Street campus is on the doorstep of an outstanding educational institution, making it even more critical for the stability of that area to be addressed," noted Morris, a partner and director of equity investments for Lord Abbett & Co. in New York City.

"Many other cities across the country are dealing with the same issue -- so it is satisfying to see UB taking action to improve the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood."

Barry Lentnek, a professor of geography and associate director of the Center for Regional Development and Policy at UB, is in charge of the five-year study -- which will look at the development of vacant land, property values, land use and employment in the South Campus neighborhood.

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