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The gift is in honor of the family’s “life changing experiences” at the school.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Roanoke College's latest capital campaign went public Saturday night with an unexpected boom: a $25 million pledge from a family that has long aided the college.
The gift from the Mulheren family is the largest single gift ever received by the college, according to a news release.
President Michael Maxey announced the gift at an Alumni Weekend gathering to kick off the "Roanoke Rising" capital campaign, which prior to the gift was already halfway to its $200 million goal.
The donor family includes Nancy Mulheren, a 1972 Roanoke graduate, her late husband, John, class of 1971, and their son Sandy and his wife, Vanessa, both of the class of 2002. The family splits time between Rumson, N.J., and their home in Paint Bank in Craig County.
Nancy Mulheren said in the release the gift was in honor of her family's "life changing experiences" at the school.
The gift is just the latest from the Mulherens, who began donating to their alma mater before they were in their 30s, according to a Roanoke College magazine story. A self-taught Wall Street stock trader, John Mulheren rose to managing partner at Merrill Lynch when he was just 25.
Many of the Mulherens' gifts were made in honor of faculty and staff who influenced them while at Roanoke.
The were major sponsors of the Bast Center athletic facility in 1982, which is named for professor and track coach Homer Bast.
The following year, according to the magazine article, they made a $930,000 challenge grant to help renovate one of the campus' oldest dorms.
In 2000, just after then-President David Gring announced a $5 million gift from Tristram and Ruth Colket, for whom the campus student center is named, John Mulheren offered another $5 million on the spot.
"Roanoke College has always been deep in our hearts," Nancy Mulheren said in the news release, "and my family wants to do all that we can to make a difference."
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