Fairfield University Alumnus William P. Egan '67 makes historic $6 million gift to support scholarships, athletics


William P. Egan, a 1967 graduate of Fairfield University and managing general partner with the Boston venture capital firm Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co./Alta Communications, and his wife Jacalyn have made a $6 million gift to Fairfield University, the largest gift in the University's history.

According to Mr. and Mrs. Egan's wishes, the University will establish scholarships for undergraduate students at Fairfield in recognition of the gift. In addition, $1 million of the gift helped to fund the recent construction of the Thomas J. Walsh, Jr. Athletic Center on campus.

The announcement was made by the Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., President of Fairfield University.

The gift is the largest in Fairfield's 58-year history, said Fr. Kelley, and will "have a dramatic impact on the lives of so many who wish, but perhaps do not have the means, to attend Fairfield University.

"Scholarship aid is so critical to our ability to make Fairfield accessible to students from all economic backgrounds. We are deeply grateful for the vision and generosity of Bill and Jackie Egan. Their investment will help to make the dream of a Fairfield education a reality for young people for years to come."

In recognition of the gift, Fairfield University will establish scholarships in the names of three long-time members of the University faculty - Rev. Victor Leeber, S.J., retired professor of Modern Languages and Jesuit advisor to athletics at Fairfield; Rev. Albert Reddy, S.J., adjunct professor of English; and Dr. Joan Walters, retired professor of economics.

Mr. Egan said, "Jackie and I feel fortunate that we are able to help others help themselves gain a Fairfield education and in doing so honor Dr. Walters, Fr. Leeber and Fr. Reddy, who have dedicated their careers to helping others."

A total of $250,000 in scholarship aid will be awarded annually and based on demonstrated need to students in the disciplines of economics, English and Modern Languages.

Fr. Leeber, a teacher at Fairfield University since the 1940s and a friend and advisor to generations of student athletes, said he was honored that the Egans would name a scholarship for him and was gratified that future Fairfield University students would benefit from their philanthropy. "I've seen Bill and Jackie Egan's generosity in so many ways," he said. "Much that he does very few people even know about. These scholarships are typical of the caring he has shown for young people during his long association with Fairfield."

A member of the Fairfield University faculty for nearly 40 years, Fr. Reddy noted, "My first vocation was to teach, and so this is the kind of acknowledgement that I really appreciate. That students will benefit from it makes it even more special."

Dr. Walters said she was "enormously flattered" to have a scholarship named for her. She said she was especially pleased that the Egans had asked the University to direct scholarships at students interested in the study of economics.

In 1990, Fairfield University named its then newly constructed campus chapel the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola in recognition of a previous gift to the University by Mr. Egan in memory of his parents, John and Marion Egan.

The Egans are residents of Natick, MA. Mr. Egan has served as a Fairfield University Trustee since 1987 and currently is chairman of the Finance Committee of the Board. He was the recipient of the University's 50th Anniversary Jubilee Medal in 1992. Son Mark Egan is a member of the Fairfield University Class of 1999.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on June 4, 2000