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Union Theological seminary leases buildings to raise money

Posted: Friday, January 10, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- The country's oldest nondenominational seminary has agreed to lease three of its buildings to Columbia University for 49 years as it struggles to shore up its income.

Union Theological Seminary, which has seen its endowment drop to $60 million from $79 million over the last several years, will also transfer its million-volume library collection to Columbia.

''Most institutions are having to reassess their income and expenditures,'' said the Rev. Dr. Joseph Hough, the seminary's president. ''We saw this as a possible way of converting excess space to income.''

Columbia said it would use the buildings on the Upper West Side for extra classrooms or offices. Union, which has about 350 students, will continue to use seven buildings for its operations.

Both Columbia and Union declined to disclose financial details of the agreement.



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