SMC Receives $1.5 Million Gift For New Library & Learning Commons

The Saint Mary’s College future Library & Learning Commons has received a $1.5 million leadership gift.

“We deeply appreciate this generous anonymous gift. It is extremely important because it recognizes the vision of the Library & Learning Commons as a hub of innovation and education for the campus,” said President James Donahue. “Once completed, the Library & Learning Commons will not only help advance educational opportunities for our students and faculty scholarship, it will foster creative entrepreneurial collaborations that we know businesses want to see in our undergraduate and graduate students.”

Building a vibrant, Library & Learning Commons is a major priority for Saint Mary's. The planned facility will feature a grand reading room; dedicated study and meeting spaces; state of the art digital computing support and rich media rooms; smart instruction rooms; a special collections area; an outdoor courtyard; and flexibility for the future.

“We are tremendously grateful for this gracious and remarkable donor, who while wishing to remain anonymous, has demonstrated passionate support of the academic excellence of Saint Mary’s, and the establishment of this critical academic facility,” said Lisa Moore, Vice President for Advancement.

Moore said the seven-figure donation was the result of the donor’s longstanding belief in Saint Mary’s academic and Catholic mission, and genuine hope to inspire others to support the Library & Learning Commons.

“This magnanimous contribution supports our ongoing efforts to strengthen the academic heart of the institution, our library, as an intellectual, social, and collaborative center for the College,” she added. “It also underscores a growing culture of philanthropy, and rising tide of donor support for Saint Mary’s.”

The donation is the latest in a series of major gifts to the College. Saint Mary’s received more than $13.7 million in cash and new pledges in the 2016-17 academic year—an 85 percent increase over the prior year.

For more information about Saint Mary’s Library & Learning Commons contact Carolyn Otis Catanzaro, Assistant Vice President for Development, at or (925) 631-4328.