A gift of $100 million from former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank H. McCourt Jr. (C ’75) will launch the McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown’s ninth current school and its first new school since the School of Business Administration in 1957, the university announced this morning.
McCourt’s gift is the largest Georgetown has ever received, breaking a 2010 record set by HarryToulmin Jr.’s $87 million endowment to support medical research granted through a charitable trust established in his will.
The McCourt School, the idea for which began through conversations between McCourt and University President John J. DeGioia at a 2006 board meeting, will incorporate the Georgetown Public Policy Institute in its approach to data-driven study of public policy through a Center for Politics and Policy at the McCourt School, a Massive Data Institute and the McCourt Fellows Program.
The Massive Data Institute will focus on data from government agencies in its policy analysis, emphasizing the role of data in informing work on healthcare, education, poverty and other policy areas, while the fellowship program will offer full scholarships to qualified students and five endowed faculty positions along with other faculty openings, including inter-disciplinary and inter-school appointments.
McCourt, president of real estate development firm McCourt Global, served on Georgetown’s board of directors from 2005 to 2011 and co-chaired the university’s Third Century Campaign in the New England region. His ties with Georgetown run through his family; his father, two brothers and one of four sons are also alumni.
Nationally, he is best known for his eight-year tenure as Dodgers owner, which took the team into bankruptcy in 2011. McCourt fired his wife, Jamie McCourt, as the team’s chief executive in 2009 and then battled her in a messy divorce before selling the team in 2012.
His gift to Georgetown marks a milestone in the university’s Campaign for Georgetown, which aims to raise $1.5 billion by 2016 and reached the $1 billion mark last March.
DeGioia announced the partnership in a letter to the campus community.
“The McCourt School represents a new era for Georgetown, one that connects the strengths of our community – our resources, our traditions, and our enduring commitment to building the common good – with the power of innovation and technology to address the policy challenges of the 21stcentury,” DeGioia wrote.
The McCourt School’s official launch will be at an academic ceremony on Copley Lawn on Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m. with a larger event featuring members of Congress and other D.C. figures to follow Oct. 9.