LATROBE, PA – The Saint Vincent College Board of Directors has announced a change in its leadership following the retirement of J. Christopher Donahue, who has served as the Board’s Chair since 1999.
Mr. Donahue, who announced his retirement at the Board’s quarterly meeting on June 11, will be succeeded by the Board’s Vice Chair, Arthur J. Rooney II.
“We thank Chris for his diligent work on behalf of our College these some 25 years, and 22 as Chair of the Board,” said Archabbot Martin de Porres Bartel, O.S.B., Saint Vincent College chancellor, “and we look forward to our continued relationship with the Rooney family and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Art will continue the tradition of strong Board leadership here at Saint Vincent College.”
“On behalf of the entire Saint Vincent College community, including our students, faculty, and administration, we are grateful to the incredible work that Chris Donahue has provided us as a longtime member and Chair of the Saint Vincent College Board of Directors” said Father Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., Saint Vincent College president. “His steady leadership, keen insights, incredible generosity and unrelenting commitment to the success of our institution have contributed to a period of unprecedented growth that will continue to sustain our success at Saint Vincent.”
Mr. Donahue, the president, CEO, chairman and director of Pittsburgh investment manager Federated Hermes, first joined the Saint Vincent College Board of Directors in 1996.
“Even board chairs graduate,” said Mr. Donahue. “Thank you, Saint Vincent College, for the opportunity to serve. Gratitude to all who have supported our mission and I wish all the best for the future. With Father Paul, Art Rooney II and Archabbot Martin at the helm, Saint Vincent is in great hands.”
Mr. Donahue has presided over the Saint Vincent College Board of Directors throughout an era of sustained growth for the College, during which its endowment, enrollment and academic offerings have consistently and significantly grown.
Most recently, Mr. Donahue and his wife, Ann Carey Donahue, served as co-chairs of Saint Vincent College’s record-breaking Forward, Always Forward Campaign. The largest capital campaign in the College’s history closed in September 2020 having raised $118 million, surpassing its original goal of $100 million.
The Forward, Always Forward Campaign focused on endowment growth, new construction and renovation and funding of current academic programs and projects. More than $36 million was added to the College’s endowment for scholarships, professors and programs and several substantial construction projects were completed, including The James F. Will Engineering and Biomedical Sciences Hall, featuring the Ralph and Donna Liberatore Human Anatomy Lab; the Dale P. Latimer Library, featuring the Verostko Center for the Arts and the Sharon and James E. Rohr Learning Commons; UPMC Field; DiPadova Hall and the Student Life and Hospitality Hub.
Throughout Mr. Donahue’s time on the Board, his family’s generous philanthropy to Saint Vincent enabled the College to initiate a number of significant building and renovation projects, including the 2003 expansion and renovation of the Robert S. Carey Student Center, named for Ann’s brother. The family has also been supportive of the Saint Vincent College faculty by endowing the James F. Will Professorship of Engineering.
Mr. and Mrs. Donahue are the parents of eight children, including 2008 Saint Vincent College graduate James C. Donahue. The family has deep ties to the Saint Vincent community, as Mrs. Donahue’s grandfather and two great uncles were orphaned and raised by the Benedictine monks of Saint Vincent. Her great uncles later became Rev. Callistus Stehle, O.S.B., and Archabbot Aurelius Stehle, O.S.B., who presided over the Saint Vincent Archabbey from 1918-1930.
Mr. Donahue has served as president and CEO of Federated Hermes since 1998 and has been responsible for the development of the firm’s long-term strategies and goals, directly overseeing investment management and research, sales and marketing, and administrative functions of the corporation.
“We look forward to continuing our longstanding friendship and will always appreciate the dedication and passion for Saint Vincent, our students and the monastic community that Chris has so proudly displayed these many years,” said Father Paul. “We wish Chris, Ann and their entire family the very best, and sincerely thank them for all that they have done for Saint Vincent.”
Mr. Rooney, president of the Pittsburgh Steelers, joined the Saint Vincent College Board of Directors in 2014 and was appointed Vice Chair in September 2020.
“We are excited to welcome Art Rooney II into this new role as Chair of the Saint Vincent College Board of Directors,” said Father Paul. “His contributions as a member and Vice Chair of the Board provide a foundation upon which Saint Vincent will continue to move forward. We are blessed to further benefit from Art’s leadership and expertise and we are grateful that he has embraced the opportunity to serve the College in this capacity at such a pivotal time in our history.”
“I am honored to be named Chair of the Board at Saint Vincent College,” Mr. Rooney said, “and I want to thank Chris Donahue for his outstanding service as Board Chair for the past 22 years. He is leaving a tremendous foundation for the College and the Board to continue to build upon. I am excited to work with the Board and the entire Saint Vincent community to help lead efforts into the future for such a respected and important Catholic college.”
Mr. Rooney was appointed president of the Pittsburgh Steelers in May 2003, while he also serves of counsel at the Pittsburgh law firm Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney, where he specializes in corporate finance, sports law and governmental affairs.
He currently serves as the Chair of the National Football League’s Stadium Workplace Diversity Committee as well as Chair of the NFL’s Compensation Committee. He also sits on additional NFL committees including the Legislative Committee, the Management Council Executive Committee, the International Committee, the Health and Safety Advisory Committee and the NFL Foundation.
Mr. Rooney is very active in the Pittsburgh community. In addition to serving on the Saint Vincent College Board of Directors, he also sits on the boards of the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Senator John Heinz Western PA History Center and the United Way of Allegheny County.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1978, before graduating with highest honors from Duquesne University School of Law in 1982. Mr. Rooney and his wife, Greta, reside in Pittsburgh.
“With a relationship that dates back more than five decades,” said Father Paul, “the Rooney family and the Pittsburgh Steelers are very much part of the Saint Vincent community and have long been advocates for the mission of the College. We look forward to the ways in which Saint Vincent will continue to grow under Art’s guidance and through the support of our entire board of directors.”
PHOTO 1: From left to right – Rt. Rev Martin de Porres Bartel, O.S.B.; J. Christopher Donahue; Father Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B.; and Arthur J. Rooney II
PHOTO 2: J. Christopher Donahue (left) and Arthur J. Rooney II