Donor Stories and Legacies

 

Jack and Cathy Brennan Repay ‘Tremendous Gift’ from Notre Dame

Cathy and Jack BrennanJack Brennan stepped down at age 54 from leading investment management company Vanguard so he could put time into organizations he cares about—like Notre Dame. Jack and Cathy Brennan understand the value of giving back. Their children, William ’06, Kara ’08, and Conor ’11, are proud Irish Notre Dame alums. As Jack explains, “From the first moment we stepped onto campus, we were taken with the mission of the University and the passion and quality of the people. Nine years later Notre Dame is an integral part of our family, and we consider that a tremendous gift.” With planned gifts to the University, Jack and Cathy will ensure “Notre Dame continues its tradition as one of the finest higher-education institutions in the world.”

To show their commitment to Notre Dame’s future, Jack and Cathy have included the University in their planned giving. As he says, “Originally, we wanted to show that Notre Dame was an important place to us; so we began giving to the Annual Fund.” To support research and education at Notre Dame, they then established an Endowment for Excellence for the Office of the Provost. Jack explains, “My father passed away a year ago, and to honor him and my mother, we established a scholarship in their names.” Additionally, after learning more about the significant advantages of making a gift that is invested with the Notre Dame endowment and managed by Scott Malpass and his wonderful team of professionals, they started a Notre Dame donor-advised fund. “The beauty of the Notre Dame donor-advised fund,” he says, “is the fact that other charities, which are very important to people, can benefit from the professional management of the Notre Dame endowment. The donor-advised fund is a great way for people to support a local charity such as their parish while also supporting Notre Dame.”

Jack and Cathy have also made a bequest to Notre Dame in their will. “It’s helpful for the University to know of our decision to include Notre Dame in our will,” he says, “both from a leadership role and as an expression of our commitment to this community.” Informing the University of their bequest helps Notre Dame “plan confidently for the future.” As he says, “Including Notre Dame in your will helps the University now and in the future.”

Significantly, Jack and Cathy also serve on the newly formed Gift Planning Advancement Committee. “Our belief in the importance of Notre Dame—and our gratitude for what it’s done for our children—adds up to a responsibility to support Notre Dame, both financially and in a leadership role.” They want to do their part to educate others in the Notre Dame family about the importance of planned gifts—gifts such as wills, real estate, trusts, donor-advised funds, and gifts that create income for donors. “All of these gifts represent types of gifts, whether big or small, that most anyone can make,” he says. “These gifts matter at the University; in fact, they are critical to the long-term success of the University.” Although many people can’t make a large outright gift during their lifetime, especially with recent economic turmoil, with these types of planned gifts, “people can make a big difference at the University in the future without a big impact to their current financial situation or lifestyle.”

As Jack says, “We’ve been very fortunate in our lives. As a family, we believe that giving back matters.” He concludes, “Notre Dame is a special place to us, and we want to see it continue to be that special place in the future and to be able to allow others to have the opportunity to enjoy the same rich experience our kids had.”

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