$1M funds Chair in Catholic Leadership; $500,000 aids Reinbolt renovation

The St. Mary’s University Alumni Association has given $1 million to endow the
St. Mary’s Alumni Association Chair in Catholic Leadership and an additional $500,000 to support the renovation of historic Reinbolt Hall.

The establishment of the Chair in Catholic Leadership will play a critical role in establishing and sustaining a Center for Catholic Studies.

The Association requests that its gift be used to challenge the St. Mary’s community to contribute smaller gifts. The Association will match gifts dollar for dollar for the Chair.

“The Alumni Association has stepped up again as it has so many times – every time – to take a leadership role,” said President Thomas Mengler, J.D. “This gift is creative, practical and thoughtful all at the same time. It will be a cornerstone in our efforts to establish a Center for Catholic Studies and preserve the University’s deep tradition of excellence.”

The proposed home of the Center for Catholic Studies is the spiritual center of campus, Reinbolt Hall, the location of Assumption Chapel and the Theology Department. The Association’s $500,000 pledge will help fund stabilization and infrastructure improvements and name an area of significance upon completion of the $7.5 million upgrade, similar to the St. Louis Hall project completed in 2012.

“The St. Mary’s University Alumni Association and its Board of Directors are extremely proud to be able to make this gift to the University,” said Jason Longoria, President of the Alumni Association. “This gift continues our long tradition of giving back to the University community and leaving a lasting legacy for future students. The Center for Catholic Studies and the Alumni Association Chair in Catholic Leadership will enhance an already stellar curriculum at St. Mary’s and solidify its place as an innovative leader throughout the Southwest.

“We are excited to be part of the creation of the Center. Helping create this endowed chair and preserve Reinbolt Hall has an immediate and powerful impact on the entire St. Mary’s community.”

Reinbolt Hall, erected in 1908, is named in honor of the Rev. John N. Reinbolt, S.M., who once urged St. Mary’s to build a boarding school on the Northwest side of San Antonio to free up the downtown campus for day students. That boarding school, which opened in 1894 as St. Louis College, eventually became St. Mary’s University in 1927.

The University’s strategic plan, Gateway: A Vision for St. Mary’s University, includes the establishment of the Center for Catholic Studies. The Center will have four principal features in serving students, faculty and staff; the Archdiocese of San Antonio; the Southwest; and the nation:

  • Promote the study and understanding of Catholic intellectual and social thought, as well as Marianist spirituality
  • Develop an undergraduate major in Catholic Studies
  • Serve as a spiritual gateway for our community
  • Reside in historic Reinbolt Hall after an extensive remodeling project

St. Mary’s will play a lead role in advancing Catholic studies through recruitment of distinguished faculty in Catholic philosophy, theology, and other central areas of Catholic studies and culture.

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