Former National Football League Commissioner Paul J. Tagliabue (C’62) and his wife, Chandler, have made a $5 million gift to Georgetown University, more than half of which will go toward student scholarships. Tagliabue is the chair of Georgetown’s board of directors.
The Tagliabues’ $5 million gift will be divided equally among five areas: need-based undergraduate scholarships, scholarships for student-athletes in both men’s and women’s sports programs, programmatic support for the campus LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) Resource Center and funding for strategic initiatives.
“Georgetown is deeply grateful to Paul and Chan for their continuing commitment and decades of volunteer leadership,” said John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University. “Paul’s service as chair of the Board of Directors is itself a huge contribution to the university. And Paul and Chan have been very generous to Georgetown over many, many years. This gift is yet further evidence of their belief in and support for what Georgetown is and aspires to become.”
“My experiences at Georgetown,” Tagliabue said, “shaped my values, stimulated my search for answers and created unimaginable opportunities for me as the grandson of immigrants to America. Now it is our responsibility to create similar experiences for future generations of highly motivated students from all walks of life in America and abroad.”
Scholarship support is the university’s No. 1 fundraising priority, and a portion of the Tagliabues’ gift will permanently endow two annual $25,000 undergraduate scholarships.
Georgetown is one of about 30 universities nationally that commit to both “need-blind” admissions and “meet-full-need” financial aid policies. These commitments ensure that students are admitted without regard to their financial circumstances and that they receive financial aid from the university sufficient to make up any shortfall in student and family financial resources. The scholarships for student-athletes in women’s and men’s intercollegiate sports will help Georgetown endow a growing portion of the annual costs of existing athletic scholarships, including all those for men’s and women’s basketball. Tagliabue himself attended Georgetown on a basketball scholarship and graduated as a Dean’s List student and president of his senior class.
The gift will also establish the Tagliabue Initiative for LGBTQ Life: Fostering Formation and Transformation, which will be overseen by Georgetown’s LGBTQ Center, the first such center at a Catholic university. “The Center is inspired by Catholic and Jesuit principles of respect for the dignity of all and education of the whole person, and we are very pleased to support its services that provide a safe, inclusive and respectful environment for LGBTQ students and promote their acceptance in the entire campus community,” the Tagliabues said in a statement.
The portion of the gift dedicated to new strategic initiatives will support a number of “transformative opportunities” that will help define the Georgetown of the future. Transformative opportunities are one of the four strategic pillars of the university’s $1.5 billion fundraising campaign, For Generations to Come, which launches publicly Oct. 28, 2011.