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Endowed Chairs Funded with $75 Million from Georgetown Alumnus' Estate


January 12, 2011 – Four Georgetown faculty members will hold inaugural chairs reflecting the lifelong Catholic faith of the late businessman and alumnus Robert McDevitt, whose estate provided an estimated $75 million gift.

McDevitt (C’40) made his gift before he died in September 2008, bequeathing one-third of his estate to establish a fund for the positions, which also pay homage to his longstanding interest in science and technology and commitment to the university.

Diverse Fields

Each of the four faculty members will hold the Robert L. McDevitt, K.S.G., K.C.H.S. and Catherine H. McDevitt L.C.H.S. Chair in their respective fields – Mark Murphy in religious philosophy, James Freericks in physics, Ophir Frieder in computer science and information processing, and Milton C. Regan, who will hold the Robert L. McDevitt, K.S.G., K.C.H.S. and Catherine H. McDevitt L.C.H.S. and Dexter Henley, S.J. Chair in Jurisprudence.

Murphy is a professor in the philosophy department. Freericks is a professor in the physics department, Frieder is chair and professor of the computer science department and Regan is a professor of law.

“We are delighted to celebrate and honor the scholarly achievement and contributions of these professors, and we look forward to their continued service in the years ahead and the distinction they will bring to these positions,” said President John J. DeGioia.

Faithful Catholics

McDevitt and his wife, Catherine, who passed away in April of 2008, were devout Catholics - he was designated a Knight of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great (K.S.G.) Robert McDevitt was also a Knight of and Catherine was a member of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem’s Eastern Lieutenancy.

When the gift was first announced, DeGioia said he was “particularly moved that this gift supports areas of personal meaning to them that are so critical to our ongoing efforts to enhance our academic quality and Catholic and Jesuit mission.”

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