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Maurice and Carolyn Dursi Cunniffe, alumni of Fordham University
Fordham University, Georgetown Prep Each Gifted $20 Million

November 21, 2016 — Two Jesuit schools recently received the largest donations in their histories — $20 million each. At Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, alumni Maurice and Carolyn Dursi Cunniffe gifted the money for a new scholarship that will allow 20 students to attend the school annually. Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland, received a $20 million anonymous gift that the school will use to renovate its two residential buildings and make other campus improvements.

At Fordham, candidates for the new scholarship will be judged both on merit and financial need. “My education was mostly paid for by scholarships,” said Mr. Cunniffe. “Why don’t we continue that?”

Mrs. Cunniffe added, “Having that education, somehow I knew it would help me throughout my whole life and it did.”

The couple’s scholarship program will fund internships and research and study abroad opportunities in addition to tuition and living expenses for students.

Georgetown Prep president Jesuit Father Scott R. Pilarz said the school’s donation will be used to help fund the institution’s strategic plan of “enhancing our international and boarding character.”


A building on Georgetown Prep's campus.

Founded in 1789, Georgetown Prep is one of the oldest all-boys boarding and day schools in the country. About a quarter of its students are boarders, and the gift will be directed toward renovation projects for two residential buildings on campus.

“This gift allows us to act immediately on our ambitious plan while allowing us to do what Georgetown Preparatory School does best: provide a rigorous and balanced educational experience in the context of a caring, faithful community,” said Fr. Pilarz.

[Sources: Wall Street Journal, Washington Post]


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