Saint Peter’s renames business school for Guarini in honor of $10M gift

By Eric Strauss
Jersey City | Sep 18, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Saint Peter’s University has received a $10 million gift to transform its School of Business, and will rename the school for the benefactor, former U.S. Rep. Frank Guarini, it announced Wednesday.

The donation, which matches the largest philanthropic contribution in the Jersey City college’s history, will enable Saint Peter’s to bolster business programs and establish new initiatives at what now will be known as the Frank J. Guarini School of Business.

“We are incredibly grateful for this gift from Congressman Guarini, which demonstrates his love for Saint Peter’s, his deep commitment to the value of education in our nation and his belief in the future of Jersey City,” Saint Peter’s President Eugene J. Cornacchia said in a prepared statement. “His character, contributions, integrity and Jesuit ethos mirror the very spirit of the university. The future path for the Frank J. Guarini School of Business will be inspired by Congressman Guarini’s lifelong entrepreneurial drive and commitment to social responsibility.”

Planned use of the gift includes physical and technological enhancements to the business school, the college said in a news release, including construction of a state-of-the-art laboratory, innovation hubs, collaborative workspaces and more. The gift will also establish a student investment fund, lecture series, internship and study abroad opportunities and more.

It also will enable increased investments in Saint Peter’s programs such as the Ignite Institute and Center for Leadership Studies.

Mary Kate Naatus, KPMG Dean of the business school.

“I am deeply humbled to be leading the Frank J. Guarini School of Business,” Mary Kate Naatus, KPMG Dean of the school, said in a statement. “I commit to ensuring that our graduates will be prepared as ethical future business leaders with the knowledge and skill set for prominent careers in a variety of industries, poised to impact a business world that is increasingly interdisciplinary, and armed with a strong moral compass, committed to making a positive difference in their chosen professions and communities.”

Guarini, a native of Jersey City, has served on Saint Peter’s board of regents, and was an honorary degree recipient in 1994. He has previously established the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership, a nonpartisan public policy discussion forum, as well as donating to other university projects. As a Democrat, he served two terms in the New Jersey Senate and seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as serving as U.S. representative to the United Nations General Assembly.

“Our business school will open the door to new experiences for tomorrow’s leaders,” he said in a statement. “They have a bright and challenging future in this beautiful and complex world. Our young men and women will undoubtedly be benefited by the outstanding education they receive here at Saint Peter’s.”

The gift is the second $10 million donation the college has received in the past year, following Joseph Panepinto’s gift in October 2018.

“Saint Peter’s takes great pride in these recent gifts as well as the many other donors who are significantly increasing their commitment to the university of late,” Cornacchia said. “They serve as a bold endorsement of our vision for Saint Peter’s as a leading Jesuit university in the region.”

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Eric Strauss | estrauss@roi-nj.com | acerimrat