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A businessman who has been hiring graduates of Rochester Institute of Technology for more than 25 years has donated $1 million to the university as a gesture of gratitude.

"You can't go to the well and take something out all the time -- you have to put something back in," said Jack Erdle, founder and chairman of Erdle Corp., which makes specialty devices for various industries.

In return, the college is naming a new part of its engineering school building after Erdle and his wife, Norma. Erdle had placed no restrictions on the use of his gift.

A native of Montreal, Erdle began his career as a producer of jewelry. His company then switched in the early 1950s to making specialty instruments.

It now employs about 270 people and operates a plant in France making power distribution devices for makers of computers, telecommunications and automotive equipment.

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