Extraordinary Gift Establishes FIVE Academic Chairs

In December 2008, Georgetown received what was then the largest gift in its history: a $75 million bequest from the estate of Robert McDevitt (C'40) to endow faculty positions. Just over two years later, in March 2011, Georgetown formally inaugurated the first four McDevitt Chairs, who will lead in the spirit characterized by McDevitt and his late wife, Catherine.

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Read More About the McDevitt Gift

Learn more about Robert McDevitt, his family and the impact of their philanthropy in the official press release announcing the gift.

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Learn More About the McDevitt Chairs

Find out more about Georgetown University's five McDevitt Chairs through clicking their names below.

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How Endowed Gifts Have Permanent Impact

Gifts to the endowment form the permanent capital of the university and provide support far into the future. Read more.

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Learn About Planned Giving

Assets from your estate can make your dream come to fruition. Read more.

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Gift Reflects History, Innovation and Faith

Robert McDevitt and his wife, Catherine, lived a quiet, modest life in Binghamton, N.Y., where he owned and operated the McDevitt Brothers Funeral Home, a family business started by his grandfather. The Binghampton area is also home to IBM, and McDevitt was a longtime investor in the company. His mother was one of the first employees of a predecessor company to IBM, and McDevitt later recalled that she borrowed $125 to purchase her first shares of stock. Nearly a century later, those first shares were part of the McDevitt's extraordinary, transformative gift to Georgetown.

The McDevitts, who both died in 2008, were generous community philanthropists. Devout Catholics, they were members of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great.

The first McDevitt Chair appointments—professors Mark Murphy, Ophir Frieder, James Freericks, Milton Regan and William J. Werpehowski—were made in the departments of philosophy, computer science, physics, the Law Center and Catholic theology, respectively. They all represent disciplines that reflect the McDevitts' faith and interests as well as areas of Georgetown's academic strength and potential.

Four McDevitt Chairs were formally inaugurated at the March 1, 2011, faculty convocation:

On August 1, 2012, a fifth McDevitt Chair was formally appointed:

Georgetown University will continue to appoint chairs in departments throughout the university.