News Release
DePaul University has something special to be thankful for this Thanksgiving—the generosity of an alumnus and his wife who have pledged $10 million from their estate to the university.

The largest single gift in the institution’s 113-year history will support student scholarships and a professorship at DePaul’s College of Commerce. The donors, a retired graduate of the college and his wife, wish to remain anonymous.

"This landmark gift is notable not just in its magnitude but in the profound impact it will have on the College of Commerce and the students who come through its doors seeking opportunity and excellence," said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul. "This gift is going to change the lives of countless students and help DePaul meet our commitment to recruiting the very best faculty to teach them. We could not be more grateful to this generous couple for what they are doing for the many generations that follow them."

Nationally, bequests—gifts committed by donors to be paid from their estates—to nonprofits are growing despite the challenging economy. Charitable bequests totaled $22.83 billion in 2010, up nearly 19 percent over the previous year, according to the Giving USA Foundation.The reasons for the increase may be rooted in both altruism and practicality. "At DePaul, donors often choose to make bequests out of a love for the university’s mission and to help the generations who follow them," said Mary C. Finger, senior vice president for Advancement. "Bequests provide a chance for donors to plan their giving and to really think about charitable priorities. One can often make a larger gift with a bigger impact. In some cases there are significant tax advantages for the estate."

The anonymous couple’s gift helps the university move closer to raising $250 million by 2014, the goal of its "Many Dreams, One Mission" fundraising campaign. More than 25,000 donors have given a total of $215.3 million since the campaign was launched in 2007, a notable accomplishment in uncertain economic times.

The cornerstone of the campaign is to create $100 million in new student scholarships. The rest of the funds raised will be used to invest in areas of academic excellence university wide; recruit and retain top faculty; develop programs and campus facilities that serve and improve communities; and strengthen DePaul’s Vincentian Catholic values.


Media Contacts:

Robin Florzak, interim assistant vice president, Office of Public Relations and Communications, (312) 362-8592 or

Chris Anderson, senior director of campaign communications, Advancement, (312) 362-5459 or

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