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Largest Gift in University's History

Dominican University of California has received the largest single gift in its 115-year history, an unrestricted bequest of more than $5 million from the estate of alumna Alicia McEvoy.


Prior to her death in 2000, Alicia McEvoy established the Alicia McEvoy Unitrust, a Charitable Remainder Trust of which Dominican is a primary beneficiary. Dominican was informed this week that the University will receive approximately $5.1 million from the Trust. The funds currently are being distributed. The unrestricted monies are slated for the University's endowment.

"Alicia McEvoy was a long-time friend of Dominican University of California, and her friendship with Dominican will not soon be forgotten," said Dominican University of California President Joseph R. Fink. "The tremendous legacy she leaves ensures that she will be helping future students for generations to come."

Alicia McEvoy attended Dominican in the 1920s, but she did not receive a degree at that time. Like many of her generation, she was called away by family obligations prior to her graduation. Nevertheless, Alicia McEvoy remained close to the institution throughout her life, volunteering in various capacities, including the Alumni Board. She regularly attended dinners and receptions hosted by Dr. Fink, who visited with her frequently at her home in San Francisco in order to keep her up-to-date on developments at Dominican.

Alicia McEvoy was named Distinguished Alumna of the Year in 1983 for her work with Dominican. At the commencement ceremonies in May 1995, President Fink surprised and delighted Alicia McEvoy as he presented her with an honorary baccalaureate degree.

"Having known that Alicia always regretted not having finished her degree, I asked the Chair of the Board of Trustees in the spring of 1995 if we could bypass rules and regulations and award this 87-year-old woman her bachelor's degree," said Dr. Fink. "I recall a slightly overwhelmed Alicia walking to the stage. As I placed the hood over her head and handed this 5' 2" woman her diploma, she laughed and cried. It was a very emotional celebration for many people."

In recent weeks, Dominican has either been granted or received more than $6 million in gifts, grants, and bequests. This figure includes the McEvoy Trust; a $250,000 distribution from the 2005 NASA Appropriations Bill; a $200,000 gift from the estate of Anna Elizabeth Nimitz; a $60,000 grant from The San Francisco Foundation to recruit and provide scholarships for minority nursing students; a $40,000 grant from the Marin Community Foundation to provide continued support for the University's service learning project; a $50,000 gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation to be used for construction of the Science and Technology Center; and $20,000 from the Pacific Western Foundation to fund the Bannan Family Scholarship Fund.

Last week the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations granted Dominican $350,000 for the Science and Technology Center for the fiscal year 2006. Since the University began seeking specially earmarked appropriations for the Science and Technology Center from Congress five years ago, the University has been awarded grants totaling approximately $2.6 million. In 2002, Dominican was granted $300,000; in 2003 $200,000; in 2004 $1.5 million; and in 2005 $250,000, which the University recently received. The funds from the 2006 appropriation should be received by mid 2006.

Dominican's enrollment stands at 1,937 for the 2005-2006 academic year. This number includes 227 freshmen. The 2005-2006 undergraduate day enrollment is 1,177 (the largest number in the university's history), while graduate students number 546 and Pathways (adult learner) students number 214. Students of color account for 46 percent of Dominican's 227-strong freshman class this year. Of that 46 percent, 44.2 percent are Latino/Hispanic, 37.5 percent are Asian American, and 17.3 percent are African American.


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