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USD Center for Catholic Thought and Culture Receives Naming Gift

University of San Diego President Mary E. Lyons, PhD, announced today that the university has received a  gift of more than $3 million from the estate of long-time USD friend and benefactor Frances G. Harpst. “In honor of Mrs. Harpst’s generosity and her commitment to the University of San Diego, the university will immediately rename the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture the Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture,” said President Lyons.

“We are exceedingly grateful to Mrs. Harpst for her extraordinary generosity and her consideration of some of USD’s most distinctive programs and priorities over the years,” added Lyons. “We are privileged to memorialize her abiding support and encouragement with the naming of the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture in her honor.”

The Center for Catholic Thought and Culture was established in July of 2008, under the guidance of founding director Maria Pascuzzi, PhD, in order to provide the university and the local community opportunities to consider and  find enrichment in the intellectual, social, cultural and spiritual traditions of the Catholic Church. The open and dialogical character of catholicity in thought, culture and action is celebrated through its activities.

A long-time Coronado resident, Mrs. Harpst was a deeply spiritual, modest and admired supporter of Catholic projects and initiatives. Along with contributions from several other generous donors, it was Mrs. Harpst who anonymously funded USD’s annual Monsignor Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology. She also supported several other significant university projects, including the Monsignor Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology. She also supported several other significant university projects, including the Monsignor I.B. Eagan Plaza and Choral Scholars Endowment Fund.

“Mrs. Harpst’s very generous gift will partially endow the Center’s annual programs,” said Gerard Mannion, the Center’s new director. “An additional portion of the bequest will be available to supplement USD student scholarships. We are enormously grateful for this gift which will secure many of our core activities  for some time to come.”

About the University of San Diego
The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls some 7,800 undergraduate and graduate students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The  fall 2007 establishment of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies brings the University’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Leadership and Education Sciences, Law and Nursing and Health Sciences.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. In February 2016, USD launched the public phase of Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represents the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university and builds upon the strong philanthropic momentum achieved by USD in recent years. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.

Contact:

Pamela Gray Payton
pgray@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4681