March 28 , 2007
Introduction of Thomas J. Donnelly, Esq.,
Recipient of the Robert P. Casey Medal for Commitment to Independent Higher Education
Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
In the play “A Man For All Seasons”, Sir Thomas More – lawyer and Chancellor of England- is approached by the ambitious Richard Rich, who requests Sir Thomas’ influence in recommending Richard for a desirable government post.
Sir Thomas, knowing Richard well enough to conclude that such a position would lead to his corruption, instead encourages Richard to use his intelligence and talents in the teaching profession: “Be a teacher”, he tells Richard.
Disappointed at the denial of Sir Thomas’ influence for his political advantage, Richard responds by saying: “But if I become a teacher, who would notice?” Sir Thomas replies, “You, your students, your God. What better public that!”
Tonight, it is my honor to introduce you to another Thomas – also a lawyer and a man committed to the value of education. Thomas Donnelly is a lawyer by his profession; an advisor to leaders by his wisdom; a leader by his lived example; a man of faith, vision and principle by his character. Throughout his professional career, Tom has made a difference in the lives of others, selflessly applying his definition of stewardship: “sharing ones gifts to benefit others."
Thomas Donnelly was a co-founder of – and continues to serve as Chief Counsel to – Federated Investors, a highly successful investment services company on the cutting edge of the industry. At the same time, he maintains his private law practice in Pittsburgh. Tom Donnelly has brought to his work with higher education and civic concerns the same steady, reasoned, judicious thought that has made him a deeply respected member of the law profession.
Tom has volunteered his wisdom, work and wealth to provide educational opportunities for others, especially in private colleges and universities. By his actions, he has told us in these institutions: “Be a teacher; do what you do well, and I will support your efforts."
A graduate of the University of Michigan, from which he received both a B.S. degree in Engineering and a J.D., Tom has given his intellectual strength to many other Boards of Directors, including those of The Catholic University of America, Bread for the World in Washington, D.C., and the Pittsburgh Symphony. He has served as a member of the Committee of Visitors for the University of Michigan Law School, the Ministerial Advisory Council of the Harvard Divinity School, and the Maryknoll Financial Advisory Board. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Weston Jesuit School of Theology and the National Advancement Council of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association. Campus Ministry is a passion of Tom’s, especially ministry which serves Catholic students attending secular institutions. He contributed to the construction of the Newman Center and Chapel which serves students from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and Chatham College in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.
Tom’s long tenure on the Board of Trustees of Carlow University in Pittsburgh is especially significant in the context of tonight’s Award. He holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from this institution he nurtured and nourished as Chair of the Board for 21 of his 31 years of service to Carlow, and was named a Trustee Emeritus this year. During his many years of governance at Carlow University, Tom worked to preserve, foster and guide Carlow’s spiritual heritage, academic ideals and community outreach. His financial contributions to Carlow supported scholarships for needy students, enriched the MFA program, and improved academic facilities. We at Carlow are proud to call Tom our friend, our benefactor, and our honorary alumnus.
I regret that tonight you will not have the opportunity to meet this gentle man who is unable to join us due to his health. However, Elizabeth Anne Donnelly will accept the Robert P. Casey Medal for Commitment to Independent Higher Education on behalf of her father. Betty Anne is one of Tom’s seven children and the mother of three of Tom’s thirteen grandchildren. She is working on her doctoral dissertation in the Department of Government at Harvard University, the institution where she also received her Master’s degree.
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