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University of Bridgeport Gets Tenative Loan Pledge

December 28, 1991

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ The financially strapped University of Bridgeport got a tentative pledge Friday for a $2.2 million loan to keep it operating while it negotiates a merger with nearby Sacred Heart University.

An eight-bank consortium sent university officials a letter of intent to approve the loan, said Brent DiGiorgio, spokesman for Connecticut National Bank.

The school has said it needs $2.5 million to tide it over.

The banks want to meet with university officials on Monday to discuss terms of the loan, DiGiorgio said.

University President Edwin G. Eigel Jr. said he learned of the bankers’ decision from reporters. ″I haven’t seen anything or heard anything from the banks so far,″ he said.

Already $22 million in debt, the university said it needed to borrow at least $2.5 million to stay open through the spring semester while working out a merger with Sacred Heart, a Catholic university 5 miles away in Fairfield.

The private institution, founded in 1927, has been hurt by declining enrollment, now down to 3,900 students from 9,100 in 1969. Sacred Heart has 4,650 students.

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