FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Senior Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, the 78-year-old sister of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, has made a $4 million gift to Fairfield University.
The gift, announced Wednesday, is in honor of the Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S. J., who is leaving as president of the Jesuit university at the end of the year.
Barry, senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, is is a longtime Fairfield University supporter and 2011 honorary degree recipient, the university said in a statement.
The gift will fund scholarships to enable young people to pursue an education at Fairfield University, and will permanently endow Fairfield’s Center for Ignatian Spirituality.
Barry, a strong advocate of Jesuit education, made this gift to express gratitude to von Arx for his 12 years as president. He will be leaving at the end of 2016 to become Superior of the Jesuit community at Lafarge House in Cambridge, Mass.
“I am sad for this loss to Fairfield,” said Barry, “and pray for the continuation of the Jesuit mission and the Jesuit identity, which Father von Arx has not only preserved, but has so successfully championed over these 12 years.”
“My gifts to causes in which I believe,” she continued, “have almost always been anonymous. I make a rare exception here because I have been so moved by the difference that Father von Arx and his presidency have made in so many ways in the lives of so many young people, and because I believe that, in founding the Center for Ignatian Spirituality in 2014, Father von Arx has assured that Ignatian spirituality will guide those at Fairfield, and even worldwide, who seek the gift it so uniquely can provide, while it continues to inform and influence the environment of learning at Fairfield.”
Von Arx expressed gratitude for the gift in his name. “I am truly honored and humbled by Judge Barry’s gift,” he said. “The scholarships make possible the dreams of many worthy young men and women, and the Center will help meet the needs of today’s world, while renewing the formative prayer tradition at the heart of the mission of the Society of Jesus; indeed, the mission of the Center is to provide spiritual direction to the community, and to train spiritual directors – both lay and religious – in the tradition of Ignatian prayer.”
For more information on the Center, visit fairfield.edu/CIS .
Fairfield University has more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in its five schools.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.