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Fundraising valued at ND

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, September 20, 2007

The comments by Kyle Cassily about benefactor Phil Purcell in last Wednesday’s issue (“Benefactor deserves thanks for quiet gift,” Sept. 13) of The Observer are a poor representation of fundraising at the University of Notre Dame.

A member of the University’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Purcell has contributed $12.5 million to the soon-to-begin renovation of Notre Dame’s Joyce Center arena. Facilities are among the most important components of our athletics program (as they are for the campus as a whole), and they are critical to the recruiting process. Pinpointing benefactors such as Mr. Purcell is essential because that is how the University funds its facilities. None of us would be here if it were not for these individuals, whose names you will find on buildings all over campus. From a fundraising perspective, identifying the primary benefactor, especially when the person is in a visible leadership role, helps motivate and inspire others to support the University.

Maybe the most unfortunate aspect of the negative comments by Cassily is the fact that students benefit the most from the generosity of people like Mr. Purcell.

Athletics is in the process of raising more than $68.5 million to upgrade our facilities. We’re in the business of believing that $12.5 million contributions generally are good things. We think that most of you would agree.

John Heisler

senior associate athletics director

Notre Dame

Sept. 19