University Receives $47 Million in Gifts

Maloney Hall auditorium in its early years of operation. It is now being prepared for renovations.
Maloney Hall auditorium in its early years of operation. It is now being prepared for renovations.

By Paige Wearmouth

Catholic University surpassed its $35 million fundraising goal after accepting $47 million in donations for the advancement of the School of Business and Economics and several other initiatives, university president John Garvey announced this in an email to students on Tuesday.

One of the gifts, totaling $15 million, is the largest individual monetary donation the university has ever received, almost doubling the previous record of $8 million. This financial commitment was made by the Busch Family Foundation.

Tim Busch, of the Busch Family Foundation, is the founder and CEO of the Pacific Hospitality Group and the Busch Firm, which are both located in Irvine, California. This year, Busch will be ending a 12-year term on Catholic University’s board of trustees.

The gift from the Busch Family Foundation will be used to fund the renovation of Maloney Hall where the School of Business and Economics will be relocated to. In addition, the university plans to use the funds to help develop the business school’s academic programming. The school will be renamed the Tim and Steph School of Business and Economics.

Elise Italiano, the Executive Director of University Communications, said that construction on Maloney Hall should be ready to begin by April of 2017. The projected completion and opening of Maloney Hall is in the Fall of 2019.

“Once settled in the building the school hopes to investigate expanding its Masters level graduate programs and also take a look at executive and non-degree continuing education for adults,” Italiano said.

The other donations that help to make up the $47 million gift total include $10 million from the Charles Koch Foundation, $10 million from Arthur and Carlyse Ciocca Charitable Foundation, $5 million from 1953 Catholic University graduate Joe Della Ratta, $5 million from an anonymous donor, and $2 million from the Blanford Charitable Gift Fund.

These gifts will be used to help fund the Arthur and Carlyse Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship and the Institute of Human Ecology, which is currently in the early stages of development.

In his email, Garvey said that these gifts will help the university support its mission as well as the mission given to the university by Pope Francis during his visit to campus in September. In addition, he said that these missions will help bring in more donors.

“This gift, coming at the close of our academic year, will in many ways help us to fulfill the mission Pope Francis gave us at its beginning,” Garvey said. “These donors shared that it was our distinctive academic vision – to infuse our curriculum with the principles of Catholic social teaching – which attracted their support.”

While the student opinion has appeared mainly positive, some students, especially those with majors in the fields of science, are unhappy that the chemistry department has been uprooted.

“The building was deteriorating for a while so when we were moved out that made sense,” said Grace Pooley a senior environmental chemistry major. “It would have been nice if some of that $47 million donation had gone towards the sciences and bringing the chemistry department home.”

Tommy DiBenedetto, a junior marketing major, said that he was excited that the School of Business and Economics was being acknowledged for “its mission to incorporate Catholic social teachings and ethics into a high-quality business education.”

“I am very excited for the SBE, its future, and its recognition by the business world,” DiBenedetto said.

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