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Medaille College has received a $200,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation toward the college's first Capital Campaign, officials of the institution on Agassiz Circle announced Thursday.

The funds are contingent on Medaille's reaching its Capital Campaign goal of $2.4 million by Sept. 1, 2002.

They will go toward construction of a 220-seat auditorium off Medaille's main building, renovation of the building, and expansion of the college's veterinary technology and science facilities.

Kresge Foundation grants are highly competitive, said Medaille's acting president, John J. Donohue.

"That the college was able to compete successfully against many other national applicants shows that Medaille's vision, dynamism and potential continue to impress donors at the local and national levels," he said.

Medaille's Capital Campaign, "A Proud Past . . . A Vision for the Future," has already raised more than $1.4 million toward its goal.

Joseph E. Wolfson, campaign chairman, said he was confident the $2.4 million goal will be reached.

"I know that our Medaille family and the Western New York community will assist us in realizing our financial goal and vision for the future," he said.

Other lead gifts to the campaign include $200,000 from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation and $50,000 from the M&T Charitable Foundation, both donations to be used toward Capital Campaign construction projects; $50,000 from the James H. Cummings Foundation toward the veterinary technology and science facilities expansion; and $50,000 from Noco Energy Corp. toward the Western New York Center for Children's Literacy at the college.

A total of $50,000 from the Western New York Foundation and $40,000 from the First Niagara Bank Foundation will fund expansion of Medaille's library to accommodate the literacy center.

The independent Kresge Foundation awards grants to institutions in the arts, sciences, education and human services. It was created in 1899 through the personal gifts of Sebastian S. Kresge, founder of the former S.S. Kresge Co., now known as Kmart Corp.

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