Bay Area Philanthropist Offers $5 Million Challenge Grant for Santa Clara's New Learning Commons, Technology Center and Library.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Lorry I. Lokey loves libraries and education.
In his latest display of that passion, Lokey, 80, Bay Area business leader and founder of Business Wire Inc., has given Santa Clara University a $5 million dollar challenge grant for the University's new Learning Commons, Technology Center and Library.
Lokey will match all donations to the library, dollar for dollar, up to $5 million. In addition to this challenge, Lokey has previously made gifts of more than $29 million to Santa Clara University to become one of its largest donors.
Lokey's gift, plus the matching funds from other donors, will complete the funding for the $95 million Learning Commons, Technology Center and Library at SCU.
"I'm soft on libraries because my Alameda grammar school librarian in Portland got me to read, which, in turn, developed me into a very good student," Lokey said. "This challenge grant will allow Santa Clara friends and alumni to make gifts big and small that will have twice the impact. A library is the heart of a learning institution, and it's a privilege to be able to make a major grant to a very fine university."
Construction of the new Learning Commons, Technology Center, and Library building began in summer of 2006 and will be completed by the start of the academic year in fall 2008. It will be roughly twice the size of the former library with an automated retrieval storage system that will expand the library's capacity to store and access well over a million volumes.
"This is an extraordinarily exciting time at Santa Clara and I am deeply appreciative to Lorry Lokey for his confidence in and his support of Santa Clara," said SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. "His philanthropy is consistent, inspirational, and far-sighted. Lorry's belief in and commitment to the importance of Jesuit education has made a significant difference to Santa Clara."
A 1949 journalism graduate of Stanford University, Lokey is a former night wire editor of United Press. After a series of jobs in newspapers and public relations, he launched Business Wire in San Francisco in 1961 with $2,000. It quickly grew to become a news industry powerhouse, now distributing an average of 17,000 corporate and academic press releases a month. When Lokey sold the business in 2006 to Berkshire Hathaway, the company controlled by investor Warren Buffett, it was valued at roughly $600 million.
Other educational institutions he has supported in recent years are Stanford University, National Hispanic University in San Jose, the University of Oregon, Mills College in Oakland, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Israel, Portland State University, his elementary school in Oregon and two high schools in San Jose, Woodside, California and Haifa, Israel. He made recent grants to new libraries in two small Oregon towns, Port Orford and Stayton.
"Education helped me become who I am today," Lokey said. "Universities like Santa Clara help students develop their morals, their ethics, their intellect and I love doing my part to help make that happen."
His philosophy of philanthropy is to give it all away which is nearly $320 million so far. "I don't want anything left around when I go. You can't imagine the pleasure I get from seeing buildings rise, labs built, students go to school and discover the joy of education...It really makes me feel good," he said.
Media: To schedule interviews call Deepa Arora, SCU media relations director, at 408-554-5125.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,377 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.
Background on Santa Clara's new library: The new Learning Commons, Technology Center, and Library will help Santa Clara University achieve its goal of focusing resources on excellence by investing in the campus-learning environment. The library for the 21st century will blend SCU's Jesuit tradition with information technology in the context of contemporary Silicon Valley. More than a book repository, the new library represents a state-of-the-art learning center and gathering place for the entire University community, where teaching and learning scholars create, retrieve, and share knowledge.