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Paper company exec establishes endowment

March 18, 2007

KALAMAZOO--A business executive at a leading U.S. paper company has agreed to give a $25,000 cash gift to Western Michigan University's Paper Technology Foundation to fund a permanent endowment to support paper science and paper engineering students.

George F. Martin, vice president of operations at NewPage Corp. in Dayton, Ohio, is donating the money to establish a permanent, unrestricted endowment that will provide scholarships, recruitment and other support as determined by the foundation's board of trustees for the WMU Department of Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging. Named for Martin and his wife, it will be called the George F. and Jane L. Martin Family Scholarship Fund.

"It is with great pleasure that we announce our support to Western Michigan University and the Paper Technology Foundation through this scholarship fund," Martin says. "As former Michigan residents, we have witnessed first hand the importance of the pulp and paper industry on the people and the economy of the this region. Both owe a large measure of their success to institutions like Western Michigan University that have provided outstanding support and educational opportunities to students with an interest in the pulp and paper industry."

Martin earned a doctorate in organic chemistry from Duke University and has been working in the paper industry since 1983, when he joined Westvaco Corp. as a chemist in the company's corporate research department in Charleston, S.C. He worked at the company's mills in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia throughout the 1980s and 1990s, in various capacities.

After the merger of Westvaco and The Mead Corporation, he became director of integration for MeadWestvaco Papers Group in 2002, then was named vice president and mill manager of the company's Escanaba Operations in 2003. MeadWestvaco Papers Group was then sold, becoming NewPage Corp. Martin has served as vice president of operations for NewPage since the company was formed May 2005.

With more than 4,300 employees, NewPage Corp. today is a leading U.S. producer of coated papers in North America, operating four integrated pulp and paper manufacturing mills in Escanaba, Mich.; Luke, Md.; Rumford, Maine,;and Wickliffe, Ky.

"George's generosity will definitely make a difference," says John F. Bergin, managing director of the WMU Paper Technology Foundation.

"Our industry and numerous individual students over the coming years will benefit from his commitment and contribution to the University," Bergin continues. "His dedication to WMU and the foundation are very much appreciated."

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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