Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia has announced a $50 million gift from alumnus James J. Maguire and his wife, Frances, in support of the university's endowment and a range of programs, including need-based scholarships.
The largest gift in the institution's 166-year history will endow the Maguire Scholars program, enabling the university to attract more students who wish to pursue a Jesuit education but lack the financial means; a fund that supports educational leadership programs for Philadelphia-area teachers in Catholic and independent schools; and multiple endowed funds in support of SJU's nationally ranked risk management and insurance program, providing critical support for faculty, scholarship opportunities for students, and professional development opportunities for both. In recognition of the gift and Jim Maguire's efforts in launching and supporting the program, SJU will name the academy that coordinates it the Maguire Academy of Risk Management and Insurance.
SJU and the Maguires have partnered in the past to advance education in the Philadelphia region and share a commitment to preserving and promoting Catholic schools.
A 1958 SJU graduate, Jim Maguire began his career as a salesman at MetLife, established the Maguire Insurance Agency in 1960, and formed the Philadelphia Insurance Company in the early '80s. A charter member of SJU's Magis Society and a recipient of the Shield of Loyola, Maguire gave $15 million to the university’s expansion campaign in 2005, enabling the purchase of the former Episcopal Academy property today known as the James J. Maguire '58 Campus. Including gifts through their foundation, the Maguires are the largest benefactors to the university to date, with lifetime giving totaling $75 million.
"This is a historic and game-changing gift," said SJU president Mark C. Reed. "This investment will advance academic excellence and will increase student access through a major infusion of endowed funds for scholarships and financial assistance — top strategic priorities. The significant impact on our endowment will benefit students and faculty for generations. SJU has bold intentions and a vision to expand our reach and raise our profile regionally and nationally. To do so requires all of us associated with SJU to think and dream big and to stretch to support our ambitions. Jim and Frannie Maguire have set the bar high for us all to follow, and I am so grateful to them for their past and present support and the impact they have made on our students, faculty, and campus."