Grateful Alumnus Donates $27 million to Boston College and Boston College High School
Tags: Boston College, Boston College High School
A California real estate investor and former high tech CEO who cites his Jesuit education as a crucial influence in his personal formation and professional success has made two pledges totaling $27 million to Boston College and Boston College High School to name two facilities at his former schools.
Patrick F. Cadigan, the retired CEO and President of Electronic Engineering Company of California (EECO), says that the discipline and moral training of his Jesuit teachers were factors that helped him, as the son of Irish immigrants who worked part-time at his father’s bar in Cambridge to help pay for his education, to become one of Southern California’s most successful high tech leaders and real estate investors.
His $15 million pledge to Boston College will result in the June dedication of the Cadigan Alumni Center, a new facility that will house BC’s fundraising, alumni relations and parent relations offices. The Cadigan Alumni Center will serve as a home-away-from-home for Boston College’s 162,000 alumni—the largest Catholic alumni association in the world–and will play host to volunteer meetings, seminars, alumni events and parent receptions.
His $12 million pledge to BC High is the largest in the school’s history and the largest ever received by a Catholic secondary school in New England. With these funds, the school will build Cadigan Hall, a new center for arts and recreation that will provide additional studio space for BC High’s fine and performing arts program and a new gymnasium for its Arrupe middle school division.
“My education at BC High and Boston College was a great experience that taught me the importance of hard work, and instilled in me values and discipline that stayed with me throughout my years,” said Cadigan. “The foundation I received at both schools left an indelible impression on me, and prepared me for success in business and in life.”
Boston College President Rev. William P. Leahy, SJ, praised Cadigan for his generosity in giving back to his alma mater. “Pat Cadigan moved out west as a young man, but never forgot his Boston roots and his affection for Boston College. We are grateful for his generous support and delighted to have our new alumni center bear his name.”
BC High President William Kemeza said Cadigan’s unparalleled commitment would have a lasting effect on future generation of students. “We are so very grateful for this magnificent gift. The innovative building that we will construct in honor of this donation will stand as a witness to his generosity and loyalty to the Jesuits, his classmates and the students and teachers who will benefit so much from this new facility.”
After graduating from BC High in 1952 and Boston College in 1957, Cadigan worked as a product manager at Sylvania Electronic Systems in Waltham for five years before being recruited to the West Coast to oversee sales and marketing for EECO. He rose rapidly to become its President and CEO, running the company for nearly 20 years, and expanding it both nationally and internationally. After his retirement from EECO, he served on the boards of 15 mainly high tech and electronics firms, serving as chairman and CEO of several public companies, including Gateway Communications, Inc., and Linear Instruments Corporation. In addition, Cadigan invested in real estate in Orange County for 40 years, a sideline that became his primary focus upon his retirement from the high tech business world. He is now the largest private real estate holder in Orange County.
In addition to his Jesuit education, Cadigan received an MBA from Boston University, a degree from Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program, and a master’s degree and PhD from Claremont Graduate University where he studied under the late business philosopher Peter Drucker.
“My parents were not able to obtain a formal education, so I felt a very personal responsibility to give back to those wonderful schools that educated and shaped me,” said Cadigan. “Boston College is so well regarded here in California and throughout the country, thanks to the outstanding efforts of BC Chancellor Fr. J. Donald Monan and President Fr. William Leahy; and BC High under its President Bill Kemeza is extraordinary. It is an honor for me to support these schools and to thank them for all that they have done for me.”
Though separately incorporated, Boston College and Boston College High School share a common history and sponsorship by the Society of Jesus. Both schools will celebrate the 150th anniversary of their founding in 1863 with a series of Sesquicentennial activities beginning this fall.
“With the Sesquicentennial celebrations forthcoming, it seemed like an ideal time for me to make these commitments to my alma maters,” said Cadigan. “I hope they will be helpful additions that will provide lasting benefits for these outstanding institutions, their students and alumni.”