The gift will endow the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), a poverty research initiative in which researchers, in partnership with service providers, identify programs that are most effective at reducing poverty. Conducted by scholars from Notre Dame and other universities, the initiative's research focuses on early childhood development, community college persistence rates, job readiness, juvenile justice diversion, and homelessness prevention. The initiative is led by Notre Dame's William Evans, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics, and James Sullivan, Rev. Thomas J. McDonagh, C.S.C., associate professor of economics.
"We are immensely grateful to the Wilson Sheehan Foundation for a gift that supports the missions of both the foundation and Notre Dame: to be a force for good in the world," said Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins. "By endowing the work of LEO researchers, the foundation is supporting and challenging them to find enduring solutions to poverty in America."