Nearly half of the annual revenue for The Fund for Catholic University is contributed by leadership annual donors — 1887 Society members. Thanks to their consistent generosity, the University has the funds needed to drive its mission forward, enhance the student experience, and respond to unforeseen emergencies and opportunities.

From June 3-5, Catholic University thanked those leadership-level benefactors by hosting the second annual 1887 Society Weekend. Over the course of three days, 202 members of the University community gained special access to cultural sites and thought leaders throughout Washington, D.C. This special experience displayed the combined impact of the 1887 Society on the University and fostered a tighter sense of community among leadership annual donors.

“People who give to the 1887 Society aren’t doing a job, fulfilling a duty, pursuing a goal, seeking a prize,” President Garvey said. “The appreciation we express for their actions is not praise but thanks. They have helped our institution and our students.”

—President John Garvey during Saturday evening’s dinner

Friday at the Apostolic Nunciature

1887 Society member shakes hands with the nuncio

On Friday evening, the weekend kicked off with a reception at the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the United States, also known as the Vatican Embassy. There, guests were welcomed by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, and University President John Garvey.

Saturday in the city and on campus

Breakfast with University leaders

University leaders have breakfast with 1887 Society members

Saturday morning, attendees enjoyed breakfast while hearing the latest updates from a panel of University leaders at the historic Mayflower Hotel. Scott Rembold, vice president for University Advancement, moderated a discussion between Karna Lozoya, vice president for University Communications; Mark Ciolli, dean of undergraduate admission; and Mary Ellen Mahoney, dean of graduate admission.

Excursions in the city

Attendees then had the opportunity to choose from three excursions that provided exclusive access to Washington, D.C., locations.

Nationals Park: Tour, batting practice, and a discussion on collegiate athletics

1887 Society members at Nationals Park

One group traveled to Nationals Park, where they toured the facility and took part in batting practice in the official team facility. During lunch, Patrick Dwyer, B.S.B.A. 2007, senior director of relationship management for University Advancement and former student-athlete on the Catholic University basketball team, led a discussion on the professionalization of collegiate athletics.

Attendees heard a wide variety of perspectives, including those of Frank Coonelly, J.D. 1986, former president of the Pittsburgh Pirates; John Minadakis, president of Jimmy’s Famous Seafood and sponsor of name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals for student-athletes; Julian Reese, forward for the University of Maryland men’s basketball team; Faith Masonius, guard for the University of Maryland women’s basketball team; and Mark Turgeon, Parent ’22, former men’s basketball head coach for the University of Maryland.

Planet Word: Tour, talk by the museum founder, and a discussion on how to debate

1887 Society members at Planet Word

A second group traveled to Planet Word, one of D.C.’s newest museums that explores the world of language. After a welcome from Ann Friedman, founder of Planet Word, who shared the history of both the museum and the building — formerly the Franklin School, built in 1869 — attendees had a chance to explore the interactive museum.

Following the tour and lunch, attendees heard from Thomas Smith, M.A. 1989, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, about his vision for the school and Justin Litke, B.A. 2006, assistant professor of politics, about the history of debate and his advice on how to disagree without being disagreeable.

National Law Enforcement Officers Museum: Fireside chat with a Supreme Court justice

1887 Society members at the National Law Enforcement Museum

The final group was treated to a fireside chat between President Garvey and Samuel A. Alito, Jr., associate justice for the United States Supreme Court, at the National Law Enforcement Officers Museum. Attendees also heard a special history of the museum’s design and construction from Tom Striegel, B.S.Arch. 1984, B.Arch. 1985, who served as the museum’s lead architect.

Honoring the Garveys over cocktails and dinner

During cocktails on Saturday evening, the group was the first to hear the name of the new dining commons, which will now be known as Garvey Hall in honor of President Garvey and his wife, Jeanne Garvey. In addition, the building will house a new space for the Center for Academic and Career Success (CACS) that will be named in honor of Jeanne Garvey.

During the dinner, President Garvey said he was at a loss for words at all the praise, which included the naming of the dining commons.

Judi Biggs Garbuio, vice president for Student Affairs, made the announcement about the building’s name with assistance from the evening’s emcees, Huey Bodger and Maddy Naleski, both Class of 2023.

Biggs Garbuio, Naleski, the Garveys, and Bodger stand before Garvey Hall

“This new building will be a game changer for Catholic University. Not only will it expand the number of students who can dine simultaneously, but it will also provide a new home for the Center for Academic and Career Success,” Biggs Garbuio said. “Currently, the Eatery in the Pryz seats about 220 students. This new facility, which is replacing the Eatery, will feature four dining areas that together can seat 490 students. Also, CACS is split between two floors within McMahon and there is very little space dedicated for employers to meet with students. This new space will allow the entire CACS team to share space and provide state-of-the-art technology to assist students with their academic and career plans.”

That was followed by a dinner honoring the Garveys and their legacy at Catholic University. Several members of the community reflected on the Garveys’ impact, including Tony Crnkovich, a rising senior in the Class of 2023 and the new Student Government Association president; Andrew Abela, dean of the Busch School of Business; and Gerry Mitchell, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Preparing for dinner in the law school atrium

“When I think of commitment, I think of President Garvey’s 12 years of steadfast leadership and of how he has so much love for the institution that he wishes to stay and continue to teach the next generation of students,” Crnkovich said. “President Garvey had a vision in which he treated us as individuals with a divine vocation waiting to be discovered, instead of as data points on a spreadsheet: this is why students love Catholic University.”

During the dinner, President Garvey said he was at a loss for words at all the praise, which included the naming of the dining commons.

“Having a building named in your honor creates, for the socially awkward, a mash-up of obligation and discomfort. The new dining hall is a spectacular gift to our students. It will mean they needn’t carry their dinners away in styrofoam boxes because there’s not enough room to sit down,” he said. “It will change the traffic flow on campus and open up this quadrangle to the inhabitants of Centennial Village. It will provide great new gathering spaces — something we badly need. We can’t thank our anonymous donor enough for all that.”

“President Garvey had a vision in which he treated us as individuals with a divine vocation waiting to be discovered, instead of as data points on a spreadsheet: this is why students love Catholic University.”

— Tony Crnkovich, Class of 2023

President Garvey was also grateful his wife, Jeanne, was being recognized with the naming of the CACS space as well.

“I am of course prejudiced, but I think she’s the perfect candidate for the honor,” he said, noting she has more degrees than he has. “She’s been the director of small business for the Commonwealth of Kentucky; helped John Peterman start the J. Peterman Company; and been the director of career services for the MBA program at Boston College. At Catholic, she has counseled and cared for a generation of our students out of the goodness of her heart. This is a fitting acknowledgment for her generosity.”

Pentecost Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle

Celebrating Mass with the 1887 Society

Attendees closed out the weekend with a Pentecost Mass celebrated by His Eminence Wilton Cardinal Gregory, University chancellor and archbishop of Washington, at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, followed by brunch.

What’s next for the 1887 Society?

Already, the University has relied on funding from the 1887 Society to support students whose families were severely impacted during the height of the pandemic, eliminate application fees, hire more full-time staff for the Center for Academic and Career Success, support student scholarships, enhance veteran and military support, improve athletics and academics, and much more.

You can help write the next success stories for the 1887 Society by taking your place among Catholic University’s philanthropic leaders today.


Published on: Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Tags: 1887 Society, The Fund for Catholic University