Santa Clara alum, Jack Sullivan, donates $3 million for new aquatics center

Santa Clara alum, Jack Sullivan, donates $3 million for new aquatics center

Oct. 2, 2007

SATNTA CLARA, Calif. - Thanks to a $3 million gift by Santa Clara University alumni Jack Sullivan and his wife Joan, SCU students will enjoy a new aquatics center in the years to come.

The Sullivan Aquatics Center will feature a regulation-sized pool for water polo with movable bulkhead to permit dual uses--allowing both lap swimmers and water polo players to be accommodated at the same time. Also planned is the addition of an accessible spectator entrance leading to the pool area, and brand new bleachers.

"I am deeply grateful for the generosity of Jack and Joan Sullivan. Their gift will make a significant difference in student life at Santa Clara and is testimony of their commitment to Jesuit education" said President Paul Locatelli, S.J. "By investing in the campus environment, the Sullivans are making an investment in the future of Santa Clara."

Jim Purcell, vice president for University relations at SCU, said, "In addition to supporting our water polo teams, this gift benefits all of our students, faculty and staff who swim for recreation and exercise. On behalf of them, I would like to thank Jack and Joan Sullivan for their gift to the university. Like all Broncos, they care deeply about Santa Clara University and show their appreciation to their alma mater."

The project, calls for the current outdoor pool to be replaced by one designed specifically as a water polo facility for both men's and women's teams. The new pool will also include six separate lap lanes for recreational swimmers and measure 50 meters long, 25 yards wide and seven-and- a-half feet deep. "Our hope is to raise enough additional funds to create the type of aquatic center that we dream of," said Purcell.

Sullivan, who earned an undergraduate degree in accounting in 1959 and an MBA in 1976 at Santa Clara University, believes that the actions of individuals can result in major, positive impacts on the community. "My gift to Santa Clara University was inspired by the leadership of people like Steve Schott, John Sobrato, and Don Lucas," he said. "Opportunities to do something meaningful are like great investments--they're hard to come by. This was a good one, so Joan and I acted on it," he said.

Sullivan received $3600 in academic and service scholarships while he was at SCU. "$3600 compounded at 15 percent for 50 years is - you guessed it - $3 million," he said.

A co-founder of Harris Bretall Sullivan & Smith investment firm in San Francisco, Sullivan said his association with an SCU classmate, Fr. Locatelli, himself, inspired his gift. "I've been so impressed with the leadership of Fr.Locatelli over a long stretch of time," he explained, "as well as that of the Board of Regents and the Board of Trustees."

The father of six children, Sullivan said he became interested in water polo by watching family members play, including one grandson who was on UCLA's championship team. He approached university officials with the idea of building a facility that would "change the ability of SCU to recruit the highest quality water polo players from around the country."

Dan Coonan, director of athletics and recreation, also expressed his appreciation for the Sullivans' donation. "We are so incredibly appreciative of this wonderfully generous gift from Jack and Joan," he said. "Their passion for Santa Clara and for Bronco athletics is inspiring; this is a tremendous boost, not just to our men's and women's water polo programs, but to our campus recreation program, as well."

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