Saint Peter’s University Announces Largest Fundraising Campaign in University History

Jersey City, N.J. – December 2, 2022 – Saint Peter’s University is proud to announce the public phase of the University’s most ambitious fundraising campaign in its 150-year history, Peacocks Rise: The Campaign for Saint Peter’s University, which aims to raise a minimum of $75 million.

“Peacocks Rise is our opportunity to achieve lasting greatness,” said Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s University. “During the quiet phase of this campaign our academic programs have grown in stature and size, our campus has experienced a physical transformation to meet the excellence of our offerings and future ambitions while our pride and national recognition have never been greater. We could not have done this without our valued supporters, but the work is not done and we are not done rising.”

President Cornacchia made the formal announcement of the public phase launch at an exclusive Blue and White Ball kick-off event for donors and friends of the University this evening. The Peacocks Rise campaign has already raised $70 million during the quiet phase, which began six years ago. Fundraising to date has already broken the record-setting amount secured in the last campaign, Students at the Center, which concluded in December 2014 having achieved a total of $64.2 million.

“We are really well positioned as a community to not only meet, but exceed our $75 million goal,” said President Cornacchia at the event. “In March our men’s basketball team showed the world what Peacocks are made of. When Peacocks Rise, there is no stopping us. I am challenging our community to raise the bar as high as we can for Saint Peter’s because we need to do the most we can for our students.”

Since the silent phase began, Peacocks Rise has enjoyed the steady leadership of campaign co-chairs Kathleen M. McKenna, Esq. ’75 and Anthony O. Pergola, Esq. ’92, along with a dedicated Campaign Cabinet that includes major benefactors, Board members and honorary co-chair Robert M. Hurley ’71. The priorities of the campaign include signature facilities, transformational scholarships, greater distinction and unrestricted leadership giving.

 Signature facilities. Since the quiet phase of Peacocks Rise began, Saint Peter’s has made significant strides to upgrade and renovate signature facilities such as the Run Baby Run Arena inside the Rev. Victor R. Yanitelli, S.J. Recreational Life Center (RLC), Dinneen Hall, home to the Frank J. Guarini School of Business, and The Theresa and Edward O’Toole Library. Further investment will continue to modernize the RLC, upgrade academic buildings and support other capital projects that will transform the West Campus into a dynamic hub that stimulates enrollment, engages the community and further distinguishes the University.

 Transformational scholarships. The vast majority of Saint Peter’s undergraduates—99 percent —qualify for financial aid. Our aim is to better support talented students with tremendous ability through dramatic and sustained increase in scholarships from philanthropy. Investments in the Gateway Tuition Program, Annual Scholarships and Endowed Scholarships will ensure an attainable Jesuit education for present and future Peacocks.

 Greater distinction. The success of our students and rising profile of the University go hand-in-hand. Greater recognition of our core strengths—academics, Division I athletics and Ignatian excellence — will propel students and Saint Peter’s to greater heights. The blueprint encompasses a range of projects from enriching the Honors Program to providing greater resources for campus and community engagement.

 Unrestricted leadership giving. The Saint Peter Fund is the bedrock of philanthropy at Saint Peter’s. The foundation of unrestricted support positions the University to respond to immediate needs in a given year, and also capitalize on opportunities like internships, experiential learning, classroom upgrades and more.

Since the silent phase began, the University has seen record-breaking philanthropy. Notable gifts include $10 million commitments from former U.S. Congressman Frank J. Guarini H ’94 and Joseph A. Panepinto Esq. ’66 (the two largest gifts in University history), a landmark $5 million gift from Thomas P. Mac Mahon ’68 and six commitments at the $1 million level. More than 450 donors have made gifts of $10,000 or more. And of the nearly 8,000 donors from across the country who have made gifts since the campaign began, almost half of them made their first gift ever.

“The public phase of Peacocks Rise is an invitation for all alumni, friends and members of the Saint Peter’s community to be a part of this historic moment,” said Leah Leto, M.Ed. ’05, vice president for advancement and external affairs. “Community-wide participation is vital. Everyone and every gift can make a meaningful difference in the lives of students and the future of Saint Peter’s University.”

Watch the campaign launch video.

The campaign launch event was graciously underwritten by Proskauer Rose LLP.

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For 150 years, Saint Peter’s University, inspired by its Jesuit, Catholic identity, commitment to individual attention and grounding in the liberal arts, educates a diverse community of learners in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional programs to excel intellectually, lead ethically, serve compassionately and promote justice in our ever-changing urban and global environment. To learn more, please visit


Media Contact
Angeline Boyer
(201) 761-6238

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