Press Releases

TitleUSD's Board Of Trustees Elects Darlene Marcos Shiley as Chair
ContactPamela Gray Payton
Contact E-mailgrayp, at
Contact Phone(619) 260-4681

Darlene Marcos Shiley, respected philanthropist and long-time community leader, has been elected chair of the University of San Diego’s Board of Trustees, announced USD President Mary E. Lyons. Mrs. Shiley’s term will begin on July 1, 2007.

The recipient of many local, regional and national honors recognizing her unyielding commitment to medical research, the arts, education and community, Mrs. Shiley has served on the USD board since 1990. 

“We are extremely grateful to have the leadership and guidance of such a distinguished individual whose tireless dedication to our university has helped guide our progress for more than 17 years.  During this time, USD has become stronger financially and academically,” stated President Lyons. “Darlene Shiley’s avid support of USD has contributed significantly to improvements in our science and arts programs. Now as Chair, her reach and influence will know no boundaries. We look forward to her daily involvement in guiding USD to further our progress in achieving our strategic and financial goals.”

“My husband Donald and I believe that when you find something you care about, you should do all you can to strengthen it so that others can benefit,” Mrs. Shiley said.  “We both have a long relationship with science, technology and education and have great appreciation for the work USD has done to educate tomorrow’s leaders and make dramatic changes in our world.”

As chair of the Board of Trustees, Mrs. Shiley will be responsible for guiding forty fellow board members as they direct the university’s long-range strategic planning, approve institutional budgets, manage the university’s endowment, supervise educational programs, lead fundraising efforts, and establish tuition and fee schedules.

Shiley and her husband, medical inventor Donald P. Shiley, have contributed significantly to University of San Diego capital projects and programs.  The Shileys gave $10 million towards the building of the University of San Diego’s Donald P. Shiley Center for Science and Technology which opened in the fall of 2003.  A large donation funded major renovations to the 650-seat Shiley Theatre clearing the way for USD to host the 1996 Presidential Debate between former President Bill Clinton and Senator Bob Dole. A trained thespian, Mrs. Shiley graduated cum laude from San Jose State University with a degree in Theatre Arts. Her passion for theatrical arts led to the couple’s contributing $1 million to endow two USD Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Arts scholarships, an intensive and highly-selective two-year course of graduate study in classical theatre.

In 2000, the Shileys were awarded Presidential Honors from USD. Presidential Honors are awarded by the president in recognition of philanthropic gifts and long-term involvement with the university.

Other honors that Mrs. Shiley has received include the Association of Fundraising Executives Philanthropist of the Year award; the Girl Scouts, San Diego-Imperial Council, San Diego’s 10 Cool Women award; the George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Center’s Spirit of Discovery and Caring Award; KPBS radio’s inaugural Woman of the Year Award; the National Conference for Community and Justice Human Unity Award; San Diego Magazine’s Art of Giving Philanthropist Award. She was also selected the San Diego Press Club’s Community Activist Headliner of the Year and received UCSD’s Distinguished Service Medal.

About University of San Diego

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls approximately 7,500 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The opening of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies will bring 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, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, and Nursing and Health Science.


leading change at USD