$17 million alum donation to fund retreat center

A $17 million donation made by Arthur Calcagnini (COL ’54) and Nancy Calcagnini will fund the construction of the University’s long-planned retreat and contemplative center in Bluemont, Virginia.

The Calagninis previously donated $1.5 million towards the ESCAPE program, a nondenominational retreat offered to first-year and transfer students. When completed, the Calagnini Contemplative Center will host ESCAPE, as well as other faith-based retreats organized by the Office of Campus Ministry.

“Arthur and Nancy epitomize the core Catholic and Jesuit values at the heart of this university,” University President John DeGioia said in a statement. “Their gift to establish a contemplative center will animate the lives and deepen the faiths of generations of students to come.”

The center, which will include a dining hall, chapel, caretaker’s residence, and 28 cabins for 78 students, will be completed in 2011. The University purchased the 55-acre site in 2006 with plans to open the center in 2008, but the Clarke County Board of Supervisors did not approve construction plans until last May.

h/t University News

Photo: Flickr user brokersaunders

9 Comments on “$17 million alum donation to fund retreat center

  1. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Calcagnini,

    Thank you so much for your generous donation. The new retreat center will be a boon for centuries of Georgetown students. I can only pray that I do not sound ungrateful when I humbly suggest that you encourage the University to name the new retreat center Montserrat or Loyola or Manresa, all sites crucial to the spiritual conversion of Ignatius of Loyola. Let a name like these be redolent of the journey we hope the center’s users will enjoy.

    In Gratitude,


  2. @J – I share your gratitude but I think it’s important to stress the fact that it is “a new spiritual retreat and contemplative center for Georgetown students of all faiths” (http://explore.georgetown.edu/news/?ID=54421). Georgetown is Catholic, but I think naming after such sites would undermine its purpose of serving students who believe in many different religions.

  3. Any space on this bitch for me to open a rooftop bar?

  4. I just want to thank the Calcagnini family for all their generosity and continued support for the Escape program. As a freshman I did Escape and it truly was a life changing experience. I went on to be an Escape leader and have met such amazing friends and truly grown as a person. Escape is one of the many programs that truly help forward our school’s mission of educating the whole person. Thank you Calcagnini’s!

  5. Mr. and Mrs. Calcagnini,

    Thank you so much for your incredible generosity! This is an incredible, meaningful gift to the community!

  6. Pingback: Vox Populi » Comments of the Week: Town, Gown, Frown?

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