St. Joe’s University’s coffers just got a whole lot deeper thanks to a wealthy alum who made his fortune in the insurance industry.
James J. Maguire, class of 1958, and his wife Frances generously donated $50 million to the Main Line school – the largest gift in SJU’s 166-year history on Hawk Hill, the university announced in a release on Thursday. The donation will “significantly raise the University’s endowment, supporting scholarships and financial assistance to students and enabling the expansion of signature and mission-centered programs.”
“This is a historic and game-changing gift,” St. Joe’s President Dr. Mark Reed said in the release. “This investment will advance academic excellence and will increase student access through a major infusion of endowed funds for scholarships and financial assistance – top strategic priorities. The significant impact on our endowment will benefit students and faculty for generations. SJU has bold intentions and a vision to expand our reach and raise our profile regionally and nationally. To do so requires all of us associated with SJU to think and dream big, and to stretch to support our ambitions.”
“Saint Joseph’s University is where my life changed,” Maguire said. “Early in my college career, I struggled academically but it was the Jesuits who saw my potential and nurtured it, setting me on a path for success. I have never forgotten that it was at Saint Joseph’s where people first believed in me and I have lived my life – professionally and personally – embracing the values that are the foundation of a Jesuit education. I have gotten to know Dr. Reed well over the past two years and it’s become evident that he has a clear vision for SJU and is an effective and respected leader. The university is in a very strong position and poised for phenomenal success. It is with great confidence and pride that we make this investment in SJU.”
The Maguires are the largest benefactors to St. Joe’s to date, donating an estimated total of $75 million over their lifetime. Maguire’s $15 million gift in 2005 enabled the university to purchase the former site of Episcopal Academy and transform it into the school’s James J. Maguire ’58 campus. The couple started the Maguire Foundation, which provides funding to support education in the arts and humanities while also focusing on alleviating hunger and homelessness.
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