The Hall Housing Smith Auditorium and the Chapel of De LaSalle and His Brothers to be Changed to Honor Stephen J. Squeri ‘81, ‘86

By Angelina Persaud, Asst. News Editor

Alumni, chairman and CEO of American Express Stephen J. Squeri ‘81, ‘86 made a  $10 million donation to the Invest in the Vision Campaign at Manhattan College. In honor of his contribution, the building that contains Smith Auditorium and the Chapel of De LaSalle and His Brothers will be formally renamed to Squeri Hall.

The Invest in the Vision campaign encompasses a wide range of plans and upgrades to keep the college’s infrastructure and campus life updated with current social and economic standards as well as providing an enriching experience for future generations of Jaspers.
According to manhattan.edu, the primary goals of the campaign are to “Keep current with new academic technologies, expand student and faculty resources, enhance curricula to meet market challenges and provide facilities Jaspers need on north and south campuses”.

The site categorizes areas of spending that are specific to the campaign and the main components that will be implemented through donations and fundraising.

According to the MC website approximately $50 million is reserved for academic endowments and scholarships, $35 million for mentoring and student activities and $80 million for facility upgrades. 

Squeri’s donation was geared towards the facility enhancement aspect of the campaign.

The Squeri family has had connections with the MC community beginning with Mr. Squeri’s father, who earned a bachelor of science in business management in 1954.

Thomas Mauriello, vice president for college advancement at MC, reflected on the Squeri donation and the impact it will have on the campaign. 

“Steve Squeri’s leadership gift is a testament to his family’s love and support of Manhattan College” Mauriello wrote in an email to the Quadrangle. 

He also highlighted the longevity of alumni donations and how they have a long-lasting impact on both current and future students. 

“The Squeri family’s generosity not only allowed us to surpass our capital campaign goal, but it will positively impact students at Manhattan College for years to come,” Mauriello wrote.   

Manhattan College president, Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., explained the importance of the campaign’s initiatives and its success rate over the course of its implementation. 

“Our consultants said it would be a stretch for us to get to $150M in cash and pledges over ten years. We decided to challenge ourselves and set the more ambitious goal of $165M. With the Squeri gift, we’ve gone past that goal and are currently over $173M. We are continuing to push that number higher” O’Donnell wrote in an email to the Quadrangle.

In addition to upgrading current learning facilities, the campaign is also focused on financially supporting the education of MC students. 

The area where we’re really seeing donor enthusiasm is in funding of endowed scholarships,” O’Donnell wrote. “These funds are helping current students and, as part of our endowment, will be the foundation of our ability to provide donor-funded scholarships for generations to come.” 

He also highlighted an appreciation for alumni donors who continuously invest in the future of the college and are willing to give back to current students. 

“Mr. Squeri has been a very generous donor for many years. As the second largest single gift in our history, it is significant symbolically as well–as an investment in the future of the College and its mission” O’Donnell wrote.   

Brother Jack Curran, Ph.D., vice president of mission at Manhattan, explained the importance of the Lasallian heritage in implementing the facets of the campaign. 

ANGELINA PERSAUD / THE QUADRANGLE

“It’s about making sure people like you are successful in the sense of not only having a great job, but also contributing to society and serving your fellow human beings with integrity and ethics,” Curran said.

He also stated the generosity of MC alums and their willingness to contribute to the college has provided for an enriching experience for both students and faculty. 

“They want to show that gratitude by enabling the next generation of folks to have this opportunity. The campaign is an affirmation of the fact that people are willing to give so generously back to this place and that says a lot about the quality of this place.”