Dunne and Flaherty families each make $20 million gifts for construction of two residence halls

by Dennis Brown

Rendering of the northeast view of Dunne Hall Rendering of the northeast view of Dunne Hall

Jimmy and Susan Dunne of New York City and Jay and Mary Flaherty of Los Angeles have each made $20 million gifts to the University of Notre Dame for the construction of two new residence halls on campus. Dunne Hall for men and Flaherty Hall for women will open this August for the 2016 fall semester.

“We are humbled by the generosity of the Dunnes and Flahertys,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “Residence halls are at the heart of a Notre Dame undergraduate education, and these halls will enhance that education for generations to come.”

Both new halls are located in the northeast quadrant of the campus, near the Hesburgh Library and the new McCourtney research facility. Dunne Hall is just north of Flaherty Hall. Each building is approximately 71,000 square feet, with accommodations for 226 women in Flaherty Hall and 221 men in Dunne Hall.

Student rooms will include singles, doubles, quads and, in Dunne, six-person rooms. Half of each first floor will be devoted to community spaces, centered around a two-story floor lounge, reading room, study areas and chapel. Additional space will include pass-through floor lounges on the second, third and fourth floors, designed to encourage gathering in community.

Rendering of the entrance to Flaherty Hall Rendering of the entrance to Flaherty Hall

Flaherty Hall will feature full kitchens adjoined to the lounge on every floor, and Dunne Hall will have one full kitchen and three kitchenettes adjoined to the floor lounges. Both halls will feature a fitness room, laundry, vending and storage areas as well as an outdoor patio and landscaping.

Sister Mary Donnelly, O.P., has been named the rector of Flaherty Hall, and Rev. Matthew Kuczora, C.S.C., will be the rector of Dunne Hall. Flaherty Hall will include one in-residence priest or faculty living in the community, and Dunne Hall will have two in-residence priests or faculty.

Erin Hoffmann Harding, vice president for student affairs, said: “Residential life at Notre Dame is distinctive, and these new halls will provide homes where our students can support and learn from one another, form lifelong friendships, deepen their faith and grow in both mind and heart.”

Jimmy Dunne is senior managing principal of Sandler O’Neill + Partners, the nation’s largest independent full-service investment banking firm focused on the financial services sector. A 1978 graduate of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Dunne is a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Susan Dunne earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lynchburg College and spent 12 years as an executive recruiter in New York City. She married Jimmy and retired shortly thereafter to raise their children.

The Dunnes have provided generous support to several Notre Dame fundraising initiatives and scholarship programs over the years. Along with their friends Rich and Connie Riley, the Dunnes established the Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth M. Riley Science Director of the Harper Cancer Research Institute to memorialize Jimmy and Rich’s mothers, both of whom lost their lives to cancer.

“It is with great pride and appreciation for Notre Dame that we provide this support,” said Jimmy Dunne. “The roommates I met freshman year in Alumni Hall have been friends for life. It is my hope that these new residence halls offer the same opportunity for every student who passes through them.”

Flaherty Hall was formally dedicated to recognize Mary Hesburgh Flaherty, a 1979 Notre Dame graduate from one of the first classes to include women. Mary is a member of Notre Dame’s Undergraduate Experience Advisory Council and serves on the boards of the St. John’s Health Center Foundation, Marymount High School and St. Monica Parish Schools. The niece of the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Mary and her husband, Jay, are the parents of three fourth-generation Notre Dame graduates and have three grandchildren.

Jay Flaherty is a 1979 graduate of Notre Dame and a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. After earning his MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles, Flaherty spent two decades on Wall Street at Merrill Lynch in a variety of investment banking, capital markets and private equity roles. Flaherty served for 11 years as chairman and chief executive officer of HCP, the third largest REIT in the United States. Flaherty currently serves as the managing director of a real estate joint venture with NorthStar Asset Management.

The Flahertys are longstanding benefactors to Notre Dame, having supported several initiatives, including student financial aid, an endowed professorship in psychology, the Malpass Scholars Program and the Hesburgh Library. Most recently, the Flahertys provided the lead matching gift to the “Tribute to Father Ted” Endowment for the Congregation of Holy Cross.

“Jay and I, along with our family, are honored to be able to provide a home for Notre Dame women for generations to come,” Mary Flaherty said.