Through its programs, projects, and affiliate centers, the institute provides training to Catholic leaders, including bishops, clergy, and lay persons, and supports the university's mission through its publications, research and educational programs, and involvement in social concerns. In recognition of the gift, the institute will be renamed the McGrath Institute for Church Life.
A 1955 graduate of Notre Dame, Bob McGrath founded McGrath RentCorp in 1979. He serves on the board of Catholic Charities CYO of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, is active in the Knights of Malta, and is a member of the Institute for Church Life-Center for Social Concerns Advisory Council. Joan McGrath earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from Marymount College and a master's degree in theology from the University of San Francisco. The former executive vice president of McGrath RentCorp, she is a member of the ICL-CSC Advisory Council, serves as a director for the National Catholic Reporter, and is a trustee of the University of San Francisco. The McGraths' previous gifts to Notre Dame include an endowment for the directorship of ICL.
"For more than twenty-five years, our Institute for Church Life has served as the cornerstone for Notre Dame's service to the Church and society through outreach in theological education, research, faith formation, and leadership development, and the McGraths have been integrally involved in its development and direction," said Fr. John I. Jenkins, the university's president. "Their transformative gift gives the institute the resources to teach, train, and serve in even more powerful ways. We feel blessed and are eternally grateful to Bob and Joan."