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‘SNL’ alum Dana Carvey to headline benefit event


September 17, 2007

For the second year, the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP) is bringing its “Comedy Night” fundraiser to ASU, supporting student scholarships for the master of real estate development (MRED) program.

NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live” alum Dana Carvey will perform at ASU Gammage at 8 p.m., Sept. 20.

Carvey, well-known for his “Church Lady,” “Hans and Franz” and “Wayne’s World” routines on SNL, is coming to ASU as a special engagement and follows last year’s inaugural NAIOP scholarship event with Jay Leno.

Last year’s event raised funds for two MRED scholarships, which were awarded to students Jason Comer and Myra Jefferson. Comer and Jefferson were two of 30 students in the inaugural MRED class that graduated in May.

Officials hope this year’s event will increase the amount of scholarship funds to be awarded to the MRED class of 2008.

“Our MRED program benefits greatly from NAIOP’s generosity,” says MRED’s program director, R. Nicholas Loope. “In addition to scholarships for MRED students, NAIOP members have lectured to our class, participated in case studies, mentored students, provided internships and accepted our graduates into their member firms. NAIOP is an exemplary partner in advancing the cause of real estate development education.”

The MRED program, now in its second year, is a unique, accelerated graduate degree program offering an innovative curriculum presented in a fast-paced topic sequence reflective of the real estate development process – from dirt to deal, finance to façade.

As ASU’s first transdisciplinary degree program, the program has joined the best in scholarship and academic rigor from the collaboration of four key colleges and schools: business, construction, design, and law. The program is presented by senior faculty members drawn from each of the four key academic units, and it is enhanced with instruction from leading scholars within the ASU academic community and significant members from the real estate development industry at large.

Notable leaders in the program include Loope, a professor in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, College of Design; Howard Bashford, an associate professor in the Del E. Webb School of Construction; Gary Birnbaum, associate dean for graduate studies and program development in the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law; and Mike Davis, an associate professor of real estate in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

After just one year, the MRED program has gained a national reputation for innovation and excellence. The program has formed a high-profile partnership and student visitation and exchange with MIT’s Center for Real Estate; forged strong connections to the Urban Land Institute on national and local levels; established a network with leading real estate development firms throughout the Southwest, New York and Boston; and celebrated the success of its first graduating class of students, many of whom enjoyed promotions and income increases upon graduation.

In addition, the first-year MRED graduates formed their own ASU alumni chapter and student chapter of Lambda Alpha International, an honorary society of experienced real estate professionals. This chapter, open to all ASU students with an interest in real estate, currently has 40 students from six different schools across ASU.

Because of growing demand, the 2007-2008 class has been increased to 36 students following 360 expressions of interest received from across the country, as well as from Korea, India and China. Almost 85 percent of the current MRED class are mid-career professionals, taking time from their jobs with the blessing (and often with the financial support) of their employers.

For other MRED students, the NAIOP scholarship is a critical factor in their ability to fund their education.

Special engagement tickets to the Carvey benefit event are $250, which includes exclusive pre- and post-show receptions. These tickets are available only through Sharon Haugen in the College of Design, who can be contacted at (480) 965-6384 or sharon.haugen@asu.edu.

Show-only tickets are $150 each and are available through ticketmaster.com. ASU students, faculty, and staff can buy tickets at the Gammage box office for $50 each, with a limit of eight per ASU identification.