$10M Gift as Fairfield Launches $160M “Fairfield Rising” Campaign.
Former Fairfield University Trustee William P. Egan ’67 and his wife Jacalyn announced a $10 million gift to Fairfield on Sept. 30, during a celebratory dinner to announce the formal launch of Fairfield Rising, the University’s new capital campaign.
The foundational gift will serve as the cornerstone of support for a new, integrated nursing and health studies initiative at Fairfield, which has one of the nation’s most highly ranked nursing schools, as well as a long history of preparing men and women for careers in medicine and scientific research.
The University’s nursing school will be renamed the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies in honor of Mr. Egan’s mother. Ground breaking for the expanded health sciences facility is expected in the spring.
University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., said that he was delighted by the transformational gifts during the evening’s ceremony, and he announced that in the preliminary, silent phase of the campaign that the University had already raised $115 million of the $160 million goal from major donors, many of whom were present at the event on the grounds of Bellarmine Hall Wednesday.
“Tonight we celebrate that accomplishment — we celebrate and thank you all for your leadership — and we look forward to the surge of energy and enthusiasm that will accompany us as we enter the public phase of the campaign,” Fr. von Arx said. “Now is the time to intensify our efforts to continue supporting Fairfield Rising and to encourage others to join you in this transformational effort for our University.”
Also attending the event was University Trustee John Meditz’ 70, who made a donation of $10 million to the campaign last year, targeted toward the $22 million renovation of the University’s Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreation Complex. That work is underway and expected to be completed in August of 2016. One of the University’s new student residence halls was recently named Meditz Hall in his honor.
Mr. Egan has made significant donations in the past. The University’s Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius of Loyola was so named in recognition of a gift by Mr. Egan in memory of his parents, John and Marion Egan. Mr. Meditz' previous gifts include the foundational support for the University’s Bellarmine Museum of Art.
The Fairfield Rising campaign targets resources at a number of the University’s strategic priorities, including facilities, like the RecPlex expansion, the expanded nursing and science facility, and Rafferty Stadium — a new state-of-the art Lacrosse and athletics facility on campus supported by Larry Rafferty ’64.
The major “pillars” of the campaign include raising the endowment for student aid; supporting faculty and research; fueling the University’s athletics programs by investing in student-athletes, coaches, and facilities; support for students programs and resources that enhance student life and wellness; and support for the University’s daily operations.
“The proper education of our youth will mean the transformation of the whole world,’” said Fr. von Arx in his remarks Wednesday, quoting an early Jesuit educator. “Such a straightforward sentiment and yet what a profound and clear statement of belief. That was over 450 years ago, and yet that statement, ‘the proper education of our youth will mean the transformation of the whole world,’ is as true today as it ever was. Tonight we are here to celebrate Fairfield University’s place in that miraculous tradition. In our 75 years, we have formed men and women to be leaders, who have gone out into the world to transform it for the better."
“All of you here this evening — alumni, parents, and friends — are leaders in this tradition. You share these values. The mantle that was once carried by St. Ignatius and a few of his friends is now shared by all of us, and it is up to us to step forward and open the doors for future generations to follow in our footsteps,” Fr. von Arx continued. “That is really what Fairfield Rising is all about.”
For more on the campaign go to fairfield.edu/fairfieldrising.