Seton Hall receives anonymous $8 million donation

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An anonymous donor has gifted $8 million to Seton Hall’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, one of the largest donations the University has ever received.

The sum of the donation comes from a $2 million estate gift previously committed to Seton Hall combined with an additional $6 million, according to Seton Hall. The anonymous contribution will be applied to various initiatives, such as endowing a faculty chair for the department. It will also be used for scholarships and research funding.

 “This truly generous gift will allow Seton Hall to sustain and enhance its status as a leading center of scientific inquiry and learning in the fields of chemistry and biochemistry,” University President A. Gabriel Esteban told Seton Hall’s website. “It will allow us to continue to attract the best and the brightest students and faculty to our university.”

Seton Hall’s stated the donor has also committed to providing annual donations on an ongoing basis to support the faculty chair position.

According to David Bohan, Vice President of University Advancement, “Donors ask for anonymity for many reasons, and we just have to respect their request to do that.”

Seton Hall announced the founding faculty chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has already been named: Dr. Nicholas Snow, professor and director of the Center for Academic Industry Partnership. Snow is also the interim director of the Office of Grants and Research Services.

The $8 million gift to the University was not the first large donation the school received in 2016. In November, a $1.75 million donation to the College of Communication and the Arts from late alumnus Henry F. Roman and his family was allotted to fund a new Ph.D. program in Communication.

Additionally, in April, a $5 million donation to SHU from Chair of the Board of Regents Patrick Murray, and his wife, Mary Ann Pfaff Murray. The Murrays’ donation was used to renovate athletic facilities, create scholarships and fund a faculty chair for the Stillman School of Business.

Bohan said that while an increase in the amount of donations that Seton Hall has received recently can be attributed in part to Seton Hall’s larger effort to solicit donations, the donors are mainly responding to SHU’s rising metrics within the last five years.

“They’re primarily responding to the great things that are happening at Seton Hall, in terms of all of our student metrics going up, visibility that we’re getting nationally, our national rankings,” Bohan said. “I think particularly our alumni are very excited about the trajectory that Seton Hall is on.”

Bohan added that in this case, he thinks the Office of University Advancement will be able to announce the identity of the anonymous donor “in the future.”

Brianna Bernath can be reached at

Author: Brianna Bernath

Brianna Bernath is a journalism major at Seton Hall University, where she is the News Editor of The Setonian. She is currently a intern at NBC News. She has previously interned with "TODAY" at NBC News and "Mad Money with Jim Cramer" at CNBC. You can follow Brianna on Twitter @briannabernath, where you can find her most recent work.

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