Irish American leader Don Keough becomes biggest donor in Notre Dame University history.AJC staff

Irish American business leader Don Keough has become one of the greatest donors in Notre Dame history with the announcement of a $50 million gift for the Keough School of Global Affairs.

The money will go to the creation of the first new college or school at the University in nearly a century – the Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs. R. Scott Appleby, a scholar of global religion and a member of Notre Dame’s faculty since 1994, will serve as the Marilyn Keough Dean of the school.

The Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at Notre Dame, with a complementary Dublin campus, was previously established by Keough and wife Mickey in 1994. Irish businessman Martin Naughton later became a partner in the venture. Naughtin and Keough were the main movers behind the hugely successful Notre Dame game in Dublin in 2012
The establishment of the global school, as well as the construction of Jenkins Hall to house it, has been made possible by gifts totaling $50 million from Donald and Marilyn Keough, which puts the couple among the most generous benefactors in the University’s history. Construction of the hall will begin in the spring, and it will open in August 2017.
“Through the Keough School, Notre Dame will prepare students for effective and ethically grounded professional leadership in government, the private sector and global civil society, engaging them in the worldwide effort to address the greatest challenges of our century: threats to security and human dignity that come in the form of crushing poverty and underdevelopment; failed governance and corruption; resource wars; civil wars; and other forms of political violence and human rights violations,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University. He added that the school will “devote itself to the advancement of integral human development – a holistic model for human flourishing articulated in Catholic social thought by popes from Paul VI to Francis.
Father Jenkins thanked the Keoughs for their extraordinary support, describing the couple as “two long-standing champions of Notre Dame.”

Donald Keough is chairman of the board of Allen & Company Inc., a New York investment banking firm. He retired as president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company in 1993. A longtime director of the company, he currently serves as an adviser to the board of directors. He has been a member of the University’s Board of Trustees since 1978, serving as chair from 1986 to 1991.
“Mickie and I are grateful for the opportunity to have played a small part in the establishment of the School of Global Affairs,” Keough said. “We are excited for the generations of students who will benefit from it."
In addition to Jenkins Hall, the Keoughs have made several other significant contributions to Notre Dame for a variety of educational and residential initiatives including: the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies; two endowed chairs in Irish studies; a summer internship program for Notre Dame students in Ireland; Malloy Hall, which houses the Departments of Theology and Philosophy; three library collections; the restoration of O’Connell House in Dublin; the Keough-Hesburgh Professorships for leading scholars who demonstrate a commitment to Notre Dame’s Catholic mission; and a men’s residence hall named in Marilyn Keough’s honor.
The Keough School will be based in Jenkins Hall, a new building to be constructed on Notre Dame Avenue south of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies near the entrance to Notre Dame’s campus. It is named in honor of Father Jenkins, who has prioritized internationalization at Notre Dame.
The school will conduct research on critical issues of international development, peace, human rights and governance; offer a master’s degree in global affairs; and support a range of innovative dual-degree programs and undergraduate programs to enhance students’ preparation for leadership in an increasingly interconnected world.
 Providing leadership for the Keough School of Global Affairs is an extraordinary opportunity, director Appleby said.
“Thanks to the vision for the Keough School, Notre Dame is poised to join the distinguished company of select universities that have been pioneers in international education and global outreach,” he said. “By launching the Keough School now, at a time when the world is faced with unprecedented challenges and opportunities, we can build on the achievements of international affairs while forging dynamic new approaches to research, education and outreach that are truly global.”

Over the next few years, Appleby will recruit new faculty experts in global affairs for the Keough School while also bringing into greater coordination Notre Dame’s strengths in human development, international peace, justice and human rights, global religion and other issues of particular concern to a Catholic research university.
International units that will be part of the Keough School include the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development.
Donald Keough received an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1985 and was the recipient of the University’s highest honor, the Laetare Medal, in 1993. Marilyn Keough received a Notre Dame honorary degree in 1998.
Their children – Shayla Keough Rumely, Michael, Patrick and Clarke Keough, and Eileen Keough Millard – are Notre Dame graduates. Shayla is a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, and Michael, Patrick, Clarke and Eileen serve on Notre Dame advisory councils.
The last college or school established at Notre Dame was the College of Foreign and Domestic Commerce – now the Mendoza College of Business – in 1921.