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Stony Brook University, Island Federal Credit Union announce $7M partnership

Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr.,

Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., left, speaks beside Bret Sears, president and CEO of Island Federal Credit Union, during a press conference at Stony Brook University Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. Credit: Barry Sloan

Stony Brook University and Island Federal Credit Union have agreed to a $7 million partnership, giving the Hauppauge-based firm exclusive naming rights to the school's new 4,000-seat arena, the film festival at Staller Center and several other campus programs for the next decade, university officials said Tuesday.

The credit union will be the sole provider of financial services on the 1,039-acre campus in the agreement negotiated through the Faculty Student Association, the nonprofit auxiliary group licensed by the state to provide goods and services to the campus community. It will have two retail branches and 10 ATMs there.

"This is a great deal for Stony Brook University -- for our faculty, staff and students," Stony Brook's president Samuel L. Stanley Jr., said in an interview. "Nobody needs to change their banking if they don't want to. I think Island Federal Credit Union is going to offer great things for the Stony Brook community, but they are going above and beyond to provide support to the campus and really engaging the university in several ways."

Money from Island Federal, in addition to that tied to the arena and the film festival, will fund internships for students in the College of Business and support programs in the new Stony Brook Children's Hospital and the Long Island State Veterans Home, he said.

The university reached out to more than a dozen Long Island corporations before receiving four proposals, which included that of Island Federal. The credit union was the highest bidder and had a proposal that was in line with the mission of the university, Stanley said. He declined to disclose the identities of the other companies involved in the process but said they were all on Long Island.

"Once we started talking with Stony Brook University, we figured out what an impact we could make," said Bret Sears, president and CEO of Island Federal Credit Union. "We found this to be an incredible opportunity to broaden the Island name, but also to make Long Island a better place to live."

The school's arena, which opened earlier this month after a $20 million overhaul, soon will be called Island Federal Credit Union Arena. The film festival -- known for being a selective showcase of independent feature and short films -- will be renamed the Stony Brook Film Festival Presented by Island Federal Credit Union.

Unlike with academic buildings, the naming rights do not need SUNY trustees' approval and are not permanent. At the end of 10 years, the agreement would need to be renewed.

"I hope that it goes so well that it goes on for another 10 years," Stanley said.

The university and the credit union did not reveal a schedule for putting up signage.

Stony Brook University -- Long Island's largest single-site employer -- has about 14,000 employees in addition to nearly 25,000 students who are potential credit union members, Sears said.

Island Federal Credit Union has seven branches in Nassau and Suffolk counties, from Bellmore to Riverhead, and is the fourth-largest credit union on the Island. It currently holds nearly $1 billion in assets.

The investment in SBU is the largest the credit union has made in its 60-year history, Sears said.

"We didn't just want to go in and have some branches," he added. "It is a very broad and deep partnership."

Teachers Federal Credit Union currently operates two branches on campus with ATMs; the transition to Island Federal would take about six months, officials said.

Island Federal is not the first on the Island to sponsor a campus athletic facility to build its brand and attract prospective members. Last March, Bethpage Federal Credit Union donated $1.5 million to LIU Post in exchange for naming rights to the college's newly renovated stadium.

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