McCourt's $100-Million Gift to Georgetown Creates New School

Frank McCourt, Jr., and John DeGioia, president of Georgetown University.
Photo courtesy of Georgetown University
Frank McCourt, Jr., and John DeGioia, president of Georgetown University.

Georgetown alumnus and former Los Angeles Dodger owner Frank McCourt, Jr., will donate $100 million to Georgetown University to establish a school of public policy. It is the single largest gift ever to the university. In October, the McCourt School of Public Policy will become Georgetown's ninth school and its first new one since 1957.

McCourt, a real estate developer, earned a bachelor's degree of economics in 1975. His father and two of his brothers and a son also attended Georgetown University. McCourt was last in the news 2012, when the Dodgers were sold for a little more than $2 billion, and was criticized by Major League Baseball for his management of the team.

"The McCourt School for Public Policy will leverage Georgetown’s location in Washington, D.C., its relationships with global leaders and its legacy of public service to launch a new approach to public policy," according to a university spokesperson. "The McCourt School will contribute policy-based, data-driven research and solutions to the urgent policy issues of our time. This world-class research institution will incorporate the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, a nationally ranked graduate program."

“Georgetown is uniquely positioned, at this moment in our university’s history, to build on our existing strengths as we grow to meet the needs of the complex and evolving public policy field,” said Georgetown University President John DeGioia. “The McCourt School of Public Policy will build on the foundation we have created while leveraging our most valuable resources – our location in the nation’s capital, our national and global reputation and our commitment to civil and civic discourse and engagement – to become the premiere academic resource for public policy in the 21st century.”

“There has never been a more urgent need for this work,” McCourt added in the university announcement of the gift. “The issues facing global leaders are more acute, dynamic and interrelated than ever before. We recognize an opportunity here to serve the world in a new way through an innovative approach to public policy research and analysis.”

According to the university, the McCourt School will also house a new Massive Data Institute, "which will harness and navigate the data that new advances in technology and communications have generated in the past decade. The Massive Data Institute will take an innovative approach to shaping public policy by training the next generation of leaders to critically analyze, extract and use these large sets of data to better inform public policy."

“The generosity and partnership of Frank McCourt brings to life our vision to connect the Jesuit values of service and justice with a critical need in the 21st century for scholars, leaders, policymakers and organizations to work together in new ways,” DeGioia said. “Understanding the data now available to us and using it in the creation of public policy will be fundamental to shaping the public policy of the future.”

“The McCourt family has had a long relationship with Georgetown over multiple generations, and we are very pleased to partner with the university to bring to life the bold vision of a new public policy school,” McCourt added. “Georgetown’s unmatched interconnections with the people, institutions and ideas that shape global public policy make it uniquely qualified to develop the preeminent public policy school for our time.”

The university will officially launch the McCourt School for Public Policy at an academic ceremony Oct. 8 and will host an Oct. 9 event with members of the national and international policy communities, dignitaries and congressional leaders.

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Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:14:26 -0400

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