The University of Notre Dame has announced a $15 million gift from alumnus Edward J. "Ward" Fitzgerald ('85) and his wife, Kathryn, to create an interdisciplinary institute focused on the real estate industry.
Launched with more than forty faculty members from across the university, the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate will offer courses for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, including a university-wide minor that combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills in real estate investment, development, design, construction, sales, and marketing.
The CEO and senior managing principal of Exeter Property Group, Fitzgerald serves on advisory councils for both the university's Mendoza College of Business and Boldly Campaign Cabinet. In the past, the Fitzgeralds have focused their philanthropy on Catholic education, homelessness, and medical research.
"We offer a unique interdisciplinary program that brings together talent from across the whole university while leveraging an exceptional alumni network that is second to none," said Fitzgerald Institute managing director Jason Arnold. "We believe that our approach will allow us to be a distinctive voice in real estate, help our students to secure top internships and job placements from Wall Street to Main Street, and, ultimately, advance the common good."
"Kathy and I are thrilled to support the university in its establishment of the Institute for Real Estate, particularly because the vision and strategy the administration has developed are revolutionary in its multi-college, interdisciplinary execution," said Fitzgerald. "It is clear the university is drawing from the depth and success of both its business and investment programs as well as its broad liberal arts tradition to develop what we hope will become the finest real estate program in the country."