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Couple donates $10 million to University

| Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A $10 million donation from New Jersey couple Anthony and Christie de Nicola will help develop Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture, the University announced in a Jan. 8 press release.

Renamed the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture in the family’s honor, the Center was originally founded in 1999 by professor David Solomon and then-provost Nathan Hatch. The Center focuses on student formation, academic research, programming and publishing, “Culture of Life” — or pro-life — programming and mission hiring.

“For two decades, the Center for Ethics and Culture has played a critical role in fostering dialogue both on our campus and in our broader society, especially around issues involving human dignity and the common good,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “This tremendously generous gift from Tony and Christie will allow us to expand the reach of the Center. We at Notre Dame are truly grateful.”

The de Nicola’s donation will help “expand [the Center’s] work forming and mentoring Notre Dame students, engaging in interdisciplinary programming and research and promoting a culture of life worldwide through teaching, exchange and service,” the release said.

“Tony and Christie have been instrumental in supporting the Center throughout my tenure as director; their vision, commitment and generosity are the sine qua non of the center’s growth and success,” Center director O. Carter Snead said in the release. “The staff and fellows of the de Nicola Center are honored and humbled by their gift and are excited to continue our work in service to Our Lady’s University and its distinctive mission as the world’s preeminent Catholic university.”

“Tony and Christie are extraordinary benefactors of the Archdiocese of New York, and dear friends of mine. I am inspired by their devotion to our Blessed Mother’s University and their commitment to the Center for Ethics and Culture — a jewel in the crown of Notre Dame,” Archbishop of New York Timothy Cardinal Dolan said in the release.

The de Nicolas are parents of two recent Notre Dame graduates, the release said.

Tony de Nicola is the president and managing partner of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a New York private investment firm. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and computational mathematics from DePauw University, and after working as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs, received and MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1990. Tony has held seats on numerous boards, including the Partnership for New York City, Toigo Foundation, Inner-City Scholarship Fund for the Archdiocese of New York and the New York Catholic Foundation.

“We are drawn to the mission of the University and in particular to the Center for Ethics and Culture because we believe they are shining beacons of the complementarity of faith and reason, as they share and explore the transcendent truths of the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition with students, scholars and public policymakers,” he said in the release. “Through its engagement with eminent academia and the public square, the Center for Ethics and Culture demonstrates that the truths affirmed by the Church about the dignity of the human person are intelligible and attractive to people of all backgrounds, religious and secular.”

Christie de Nicola graduated from Ferris State University and has served on the boards of St. Elizabeth Home School Association and Don Bosco Preparatory High School.

The de Nicolas are Stewards of St. Peter in the Papal Foundation and belong to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. They have received Notre Dame’s Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools and the Spirit of Service Award from St. John’s University. Additionally, the couple was recognized for outstanding service from the Archdiocese of New York and the Archdiocese of Newark.

“Through initiatives like the Sorin Fellows student formation program and the Vita Institute for pro-life leaders worldwide, the Center reflects Notre Dame’s institutional commitment to building a culture of life both on campus and in the global public square,” Christie de Nicola said in the release. “Our faith calls us to speak out in defense of the unborn child, the refugee, the poor, the disabled and the elderly. We are proud to add our name to this center.”

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