2020-2021 Honor Roll of Donors
At a uniquely demanding time for our city, nation and world, Manhattan College successfully completed two of the most challenging semesters in its 168-year history. The proud members of our class of 2021 earned their degrees with distinction. At the same time, all our undergraduates, guided by dedicated faculty and administrators, continued to excel in their class work, research and other activities, while helping to maintain the health and safety of the entire campus community.
Your truly extraordinary support made the difference. The COVID-19 pandemic compelled our College, like so many others, to identify, implement and employ new technologies and approaches to life and learning on campus. Without question, gifts from alumni and friends enabled us to do so. Moreover, your gifts strengthened the College at a time when so many families had to contend with difficulties of their own. We are profoundly grateful to all of you.
Gifts to the College this past year came to a remarkable $15,721,244.90. Support for the Fund for Manhattan — comprising the Annual Fund and Anniversary Class Gifts — totaled $2,399,188.19. Overall, unrestricted giving amounted to $4,619,040.65. This includes support for the 2021 De La Salle Dinner, rescheduled for October 13, and this year’s Jasper Golf Open, which returned to the green in May. Your generosity is a truly uplifting investment in the ongoing strength of the College and its longstanding Lasallian Catholic mission.
Such generosity always makes a critical difference for our students. This year it was even more significant. Circumstances such as emergency costs as well as a loss of income and even family members have affected many undergraduates. Your gifts gave us the flexibility to better assist these hardworking young men and women at a critical point in their education.
On behalf of our entire Manhattan College community, thank you all for your continuing gracious support, especially amid the difficulties of the past year. Such generosity truly makes our success possible. As always, we look forward to your continuing faithful partnership in the promising months ahead.
July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021
Manhattan College gratefully acknowledges all our generous benefactors. To the best of our knowledge, the information in this issue of our Honor Roll of Donors accurately reflects our records. We recognize, however, that omissions or errors, while regrettable, inadvertently may occur. If you find any inaccuracies, please notify the Development office at (718) 862-7275.
Message from the President
To the Manhattan College community,
Those who believe in Manhattan’s longstanding mission — and there are, of course, a great many — have rallied faithfully on the College’s behalf for more than 168 years. Today, outstanding friends and alumni like you continue to provide exemplary leadership in your support of the College. This past year in particular, your remarkable generosity ensured our continuing success at a time of uniquely formidable challenges.
In this issue of our Honor Roll of Donors, we express our sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for your extraordinary generosity. As of this writing, the difficulties imposed by COVID-19 have persisted for nearly a year and a half. During that time, all of us have experienced the pain the pandemic has wrought. Many have lost family members and friends, struggled with illness themselves, or suffered through financial hardships. Here at Manhattan, our primary concern, as always, is an unwavering commitment to the education of our students and the safety of our entire campus community. Thanks to your dedication, our efforts this past year, while especially challenged by circumstances, have been blessed with success.
A few highlights: at a time when the pandemic has made pressing demands on everyone’s resources, total giving to the College in 2020–21 reached nearly $16 million — a truly inspiring demonstration of our Jasper community’s remarkable commitment to the cause of Lasallian Catholic education. Support remains strong for our 2021 De La Salle Medal Dinner even though state and local guidelines compelled us to reschedule this important event three times. In addition, thanks to steadfast alumni and friends, Invest in the Vision: The Campaign for Manhattan continues to run significantly ahead of schedule, reaching 93% of its $165 million goal as of the beginning of the fall semester.
The impact of such generosity is especially evident in the achievements of our new graduates. The 739 members of our class of 2021 showed amazing resilience in the midst of great disruption in their lives. Nearly 50% of those talented young men and women received their degrees with honors — summa, magna and cum laude. Graduates of 2020 also completed their studies while contending with COVID-related contingencies. They excelled as well, with 46.9% earning honors designations. In addition, nine students in each class attained a perfect 4.0 index.
Our students accomplished this and more thanks to creative new approaches to learning and living at the College: for example, courses combining onsite and online classroom and laboratory sessions; extensive health and safety protocols throughout all campus facilities; and the increasing employment of outdoor space as well as virtual mentoring and other activities. Through these and other measures, infection rates on campus remained significantly below those in the city, state and region.
These measures, of course, required a substantial investment of resources. They succeeded thanks to the guidance and generosity of our alumni and friends. Yet I would be remiss if I failed to note the difficulties we continue to face. Just as our country and our world continue to feel the many and complex effects of the pandemic, so do we and our peer colleges and universities continue to strive to build back our resources. While we are confident that we’re on the road to a strong recovery beginning this fall, enrollment remains below its pre-pandemic level and campus residency has declined. Our community has done excellent work both managing expenses and planning strategically to diversify and grow revenues. In everything we do, our focus is squarely on maintaining and strengthening the outstanding college experience our students expect.
These are far from the first challenges Manhattan has addressed in its 168-year history. Through them all, we remain true to the Christian Brothers’ charism — providing a quality, values-based education for all students, regardless of means. As the past year shows, we continue to enjoy the partnership of generous alumni and friends like you, for which we remain deeply grateful. Thank you again. I wish you and your families every blessing as we face the future together.
Sincerely, Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D.
Message from the Vice President
To our Manhattan College family,
I still view the past year with some amazement — and profound gratitude as well, extended as always to every one of you, the dedicated alumni and friends who have so graciously earned a place in this year’s Honor Roll of Donors.
The last time I wrote in these pages, Manhattan College had just begun a uniquely demanding academic year. The same, of course, was true for our peer institutions across the country. All of us had embarked on a journey through the same uncharted territory. The increased use of virtual classrooms, online activities, masks and social distancing — in many ways, COVID-19 changed the way students live and learn at campuses throughout the nation and world.
Here at Manhattan, the stakes were especially high. As you know, our College has taken a decidedly distinctive approach to teaching for more than 168 years, one that is rooted in the Christian Brothers’ charism. Accordingly, we were determined to continue providing an outstanding, person-centered education while ensuring the health and safety of our entire campus community. The talent and hard work of our students, faculty and staff led to unqualified success — thanks largely to your generosity and commitment.
As of this writing, some 4,737 donors — the vast majority of them loyal alumni — contributed a total of $15,721,244.90 in restricted and unrestricted giving. This vital support addressed a wide variety of needs, including student assistance, campus life activities, facilities upgrades and more. This year our need was especially great, as Manhattan responded swiftly and thoroughly to current pandemic-related realities. At the same time, our friends and alumni also demonstrated their shared commitment to Manhattan’s future. For example, at this time last year, giving to Invest in the Vision: The Campaign for Manhattan stood at $133 million. This year, we reached $154 million toward our $165 million goal.
Of course, Manhattan College continues to face significant challenges, as does our society itself. Although vaccines and other forms of progress offer hope, the rise of COVID-19 variants, coupled with the ongoing possibility of economic and social fallout, remain on our horizon. No one can predict the future — but we at Manhattan can and do promise this: with your ongoing generous support, our College will continue to offer new generations an outstanding education based on the enduring Lasallian Catholic values of faith, reason and service.
Vice President, Advancement
Message from the Chair
Dear Jaspers and Friends,
Challenging times test more than one’s character. The way we respond to the difficulties we encounter can speak volumes about our personal sense of courage and commitment. The fortitude of the Jasper community this past year has demonstrated how relevant those observations actually are.
I refer to the remarkable and uplifting generosity you have displayed during this, my first year as chair of the Fund for Manhattan. I knew, of course, that Manhattan alumni possessed a powerful bond with our alma mater, one that has retained its strength long after we earned the degrees that gave us all such an outstanding start in life.
When I accepted this role, early in the current health crisis, few realized the pandemic would last this long. Yet my fellow Manhattan graduates — and the College’s many loyal friends — have demonstrated remarkable dedication, providing much-needed support as we continued to confront the arduous circumstances generated by COVID-19. This past year, unrestricted and restricted giving came to nearly $16 million — at the height of a pandemic. I am personally grateful to every one of you for stepping forward during this unprecedented period in the College’s long history.
As you know, the Fund for Manhattan provides vital resources for student assistance and other forms of aid. The fund also gives our alma mater the financial flexibility to address the emergency needs of undergraduates whose families may face pandemic-related emergencies. Your generosity has made a real difference for so many talented students who may have been unable to continue their education without it.
Thank you again for helping to make my first year as chair such a successful one. I look forward to your continued generous support in this still-new academic year, as Manhattan College prepares a new generation of Jaspers for personal and professional success.
Meg Walsh ’79, ’82 (MBA), ’93 (M.E.)
Chair, Fund for Manhattan