Connor Family Commits to Transformational Gift

We are pleased to announce that Patrick '77 and Michele Connor, parents of Brian '08 & Sean '09, Marc J. '08, and Michael J. “MJ” Franklin ‘08, have committed to a $5 million gift to Loyola Blakefield. As a result of their generosity, two new endowed funds will be created. $1.5 million will provide a new need-based scholarship for incoming students and $3.5 million will establish an endowed fund designated to support faculty and staff compensation.

In addition to this transformational investment, the Connor family has recently contributed $2.5 million to major capital projects, most notably the newly constructed Bolte-Breschi Athletic Complex. Their support of the project resulted in three naming opportunities: Joseph C. Connor ’42 Field, Michael T. Keeney ’65 Field, and Veterans Park.

The scholarship fund will further enable Loyola to increase access and affordability—a key component of our mission to extend the opportunity to experience a Jesuit education to as many qualified students as possible, regardless of income status. The faculty and staff endowed fund represents a critical and enduring investment in our most valuable asset—the men and women who carry out the work each day of teaching, mentoring, coaching, and supporting the formational journey of our students.

“When prospective students and families explore Loyola, there is a lot that stands out. They admire the campus, recognize our reputation as a leading academic institution, and are overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of our co-curricular programming,” said Anthony Day, President. “But once they are here, it’s our people that truly define the unique value that Ignatian education delivers. This bold and generous investment by the Connor family will enable us to flexibly and creatively invest in recruiting and retaining the region’s most qualified and committed faculty and staff for years to come.”

A United States Navy veteran, Patrick has over 35 years of experience in the environmental engineering and consulting industry, founding and leading companies that are nationally recognized for technical expertise and service. Patrick and Michele currently split their time between Maryland and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
“We have had the opportunity to witness firsthand the difference that a Loyola education has on young men,” said Patrick. “They gain knowledge, skills, and a readiness for life and learning that is unrivaled. But beyond that, they receive an experience that values spiritual growth, strength of character, and a lifelong commitment to serving others. We can’t imagine a better investment than in a place where young people are guided by role models who not only impart strong values but demonstrate them in their daily lives.”

Please join us in thanking the Connors for their investment in Loyola Blakefield and the many ways current and future Loyola students will benefit from their commitment to Jesuit education.
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