Married Le Moyne Alumni Donate $6.5 Million

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Photo by Charles Wainwright

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When John and Kathy Purcell graduated from Le Moyne in 1965 and 1966, they say they were instilled with a core belief in Jesuit values that led them towards a successful life. On Tuesday,, the Purcells wish to embrace these Jesuit values and invest in the future of Le Moyne students by donating $6.5 million back to Le Moyne.

The donation was welcomed by students and staff at a reception in the science center on Tuesday.

“As I was thinking about my remarks today I came across a quote that said ‘Of course you should always count your blessings, but you should also make your blessings count’,” said Kathy Purcell at the reception. “I thought that summed up why we’re here today, and why we made this gift to Le Moyne.”

The donation will go towards the college of Professional studies, which is to be renamed the Purcell School of Professional Studies in honor of the company. Specifically, the money will be used to expand the school’s health programs, according to Dennis DePerro, dean of the school. DePerro said at the reception, that the money will help fund three new doctoral programs: in occupational therapy, nurse practitioning and educational leadership.

“Today as we talk about the gift to the school of professional studies, we realize in some small way we can enhance and expand the possibilities for other students,” said Kathy Purcell.  “So they can enjoy the same Jesuit education that we were privileged to have, and also do it in fields of study that are so vital in today’s world.”

President Linda LeMura also spoke at the event, expressing her gratitude emotionally for the donation, and for the friendship of the Purcells. LeMura even said that John Purcell was the first alumni to call and congratulate her after being offered “I am so humbled by your deep affection for your alma mater,” said President LeMura. “It inspires me to work harder. I am awed by your generosity.”

The money will also help to expand class sizes in the Physician Assistant program from 35 to 75, DePerro said.

John and Kathy Purcell met eachother at Le Moyne, and were married in 1966. John Purcell, after retiring from Rochester Telephone Co. /Frontier after 33 years, formed his own company called Fibertech. The company quickly became one of the fastest growing companies in the region.

After selling the company in August of 2015 for $1.9 billion, the couple decided to set aside some of their profit for a donation to Le Moyne. This donation will be the third largest in the school’s history.

“At their best, our Alumni demonstrate cura personalis and magis in all aspects of their lives,” said President LeMura, “and John and Kathy certainly do represent Le Moyne at our best.”