Joan and Bob McGrath Give $5.5 Million to USF Programs
USF trustee Joan McGrath MA ’69 and husband Robert, renew their commitment to the University of San Francisco with a gift of $5.5 million made through appreciated real estate. Their generous gift will support the Catholic Education Leadership program, Change the World From Here Institute, and Arrupe Immersion programs.
Longtime friends and stewards to the university, the McGraths have served the university through two presidential terms. Joan McGrath received her master’s degree in theology at USF, which changed her life, and would eventually bring her deeper into the USF family. Now, she has fulfilled her second term as a member of the Board of Trustees and has been able to experience the impact behind the programs her family has supported.
A Catholic Heart
The McGraths have given their heart to USF, and have been delighted to see how the programs they support have grown and developed through the years.
The McGrath Institute for Jesuit Catholic Education sits within the Catholic Educational Leadership Program (CEL). Their initial gift in 2016 helped launch the program, which supports Catholic schools around the world to ensure the history and promise of Jesuit Catholic education continue to endure and grow.
Every year the program hosts students to study and live on campus for an intense three week session. Students come from different countries and contexts for an immersive learning adventure.
“I managed to live an unparalleled experience during the summer session,” said Natalia Pérez Carmona, CEL doctoral program candidate. “We created a wonderful community with people from different parts of the world, which enriched each of our dialogues and expanded our perspective.”
A Global Education
The McGraths value a worldly Catholic Education — one that exposes students to diversity and reflection. Their gift to the Change the World From Here Institute was created to help develop thinkers who are motivated to change their communities for the common good.
“We listened to the people go through the program, and we were very proud of what the students produced and what they plan to do in their lives and what mattered to them,” said McGrath.
Bob Just, program director of the Change the World From Here Institute, has seen over 138 McGrath Scholars through the program.
"Bob and Joan’s continued support has transformed dreams into reality for hundreds of students. With over 200 inspiring applicants for our 70 leadership opportunities across our 4 programs, it is clear that our students are craving even more opportunities to grow as socially responsible leaders. None of this would be possible without Bob and Joan."
A Treasure to be Shared
The McGraths have given nearly $24 million to the university. This most recent gift, made through a gift of real estate, enabled the McGraths to take an income tax deduction and avoid capital gains tax on the property's appreciation. The university took on the arduous process of selling the real estate.
The McGrath’s passion for USF has been expansive through the decades. Since their first gift in 2005, they have valued the many advantages and opportunities the university has brought them, and in turn have helped nourish others to see the jewels of the university.
I think USF is a great treasure to San Francisco. It’s on the edge of California, the beauty is in the diversity. Kids are going to be trained here to value the differences instead of using it to separate them."
“I think USF is a great treasure to San Francisco. It’s on the edge of California, the beauty is in the diversity. Kids are going to be trained here to value the differences instead of using it to separate them,” said McGrath.
Learn more about the many ways you can give to make an impact at USF.