ALLEGANY, N.Y. — Olean, N.Y., philanthropists Louis and Patricia Magnano affirmed their belief in St. Bonaventure University’s future by presenting a $1 million check to Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, university president on Aug. 13. The check is the first installment toward a $2,030,000 commitment to the Anniversary Campaign for St. Bonaventure University.
The Magnanos’ gift will be completed no later than May 31, 2009, the final day of the university’s 150th Anniversary Campaign.
“I’ve always been a big supporter of St. Bonaventure, but to make a gift of this size, I wanted to make sure they were headed in the right direction. I’m more convinced of that than ever before. I’m so impressed with the progress on campus and where Sr. Margaret has the school headed,” said Louis Magnano, longtime Olean businessman and a university trustee from 1993 to 2001.
“The new café is a great addition to student life, a lot like the Richter Center was when it opened (in 2004), and the Quick Center a few years before that. I see nothing but positive signs.”
The dining complex at St. Bonaventure, featuring the new Café La Verna and a renovated Hickey Dining Hall, will be named the Magnano Centre. A new entryway upon which the name will be affixed will be constructed outside the northeast corner of the complex.
Of the first $1 million, $250,000 will support the Enchanted Mountain Scholarship fund, which dramatically reduces the tuition for qualifying students in Cattaraugus, Allegany, McKean (Pa.) and Potter (Pa.) counties. Another $400,000 will be used to establish an endowment to provide annual maintenance for the Magnano Centre.
Of the remaining $1.38 million, $1.35 million will be used to fund Anniversary Campaign priorities; two $15,000 gifts to the university’s annual giving campaign, the Bonaventure Fund, completes the donation.
“This gift is a tremendous vote of confidence in our plans for the future of St. Bonaventure University, and we are deeply appreciative of this wonderful affirmation from Lou and Patricia Magnano,” said Sr. Margaret. “As we embark upon the final phase of our Anniversary Campaign, the support of citizens like Lou and Patricia, who represent our host communities here in the Southern Tier, will be critical to our success.”
“Though a great philanthropist, Lou is a businessman first. Both he and Patricia value hard work and clear goals,” said SBU university trustee Leslie Quick III, co-chair of the Anniversary Campaign. ” Their leadership support of St. Bonaventure is testament to their firm belief in the university and its vibrant future.”
“Lou has an irreducible work ethic, much like the early ‘men in brown’ of St. Bonaventure. When he commits to something, you know it’s good, you know it’s solid. The Magnanos have committed themselves to the future of St. Bonaventure University,” added Quick, a 1975 graduate of St. Bonaventure.
This gift brings the university within $10 million of reaching its Anniversary Campaign goal of $90 million. The Magnanos hope this donation inspires other community members to give.
“The school’s 150th anniversary just seemed like a perfect time. We think it’s so important that the community really understands how significant St. Bonaventure is, not just to Olean and Allegany, but to the entire region — economically, culturally and socially,” Louis Magnano said.
“The university has raised almost $80 million of its goal without making any real push locally, and I’d love for Olean and Western New York to be the areas that put the school over the top.”
The Magnanos have a long history of giving back to the community. The Louis A. Magnano Heliport at Olean General Hospital was the result of a generous leadership gift to the hospital, where the emergency room also holds the Magnano name.
Their philanthropy has also supported the center-court scoreboard at the university’s Reilly Center Arena, as well as the repair and maintenance of the Olean Recreation Center ice rink.
Louis Magnano is the president and CEO of Park Centre Development. He built Blue Bird Coach Lines into the largest privately-owned motorcoach company in New York state before selling the business to Coach USA. He has received numerous civic and business awards, most notably the LOUIE (Love of Olean United in Enterprise).
In photo, Louis and Patricia Magnano flank SBU president Sr. Margaret Carney in front of Café La Verna, part of the dining complex at St. Bonaventure that will be named Magnano Centre.
Information about the events planned to commemorate St. Bonaventure University’s 150th anniversary will be announced in an upcoming issue of this newsletter.