Xavier University announced the receipt of a $50 million gift from Harry and Linda Fath — making 2022 the second consecutive year the Faths have donated more than $100 million.
The gift is the largest in the university’s 191-year history. Founded in 1831, Xavier is the sixth-longest-running Catholic university in the nation.
“Harry and Linda’s remarkable gift will transform Xavier University as we approach our third century of providing life-changing experiences, one student at a time,” said Xavier University President Colleen Hanycz. “This contribution will significantly benefit our endowment, enhancing our ability to make a Xavier education possible for generations to come. As Xavier launches our next strategic plan, we have spent the past year developing a bold vision for our future, raising our sights in this region and beyond. This gift encourages audacious thinking.”
Reclassified as a doctoral professional university this year by the Carnegie Foundation, Xavier debuted as a “national university” in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges list, which included a ranking of 54th in the nation for undergraduate teaching.
“Xavier is a significant asset to our community,” said Harry Fath. “Linda and I are honored to be able to make this gift to Xavier University. My own Jesuit, Catholic education made me who I am today. It is our hope that this gift will change thousands of lives for the better and allow for a Xavier education to be available to those who seek the experience.”
Raised in Cincinnati, Harry Fath graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati in 1959, graduated from Notre Dame, served in the U.S. Army and earned a law degree. Fath began making investments in real estate in the 1970s, which led to the founding of Fath Properties. While building the company, Fath also engaged in numerous civic and business activities in this region and beyond. Linda Fath has been a dedicated supporter of local Cincinnati organizations including Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati Art Museum, Greater Cincinnati Foundation and several other civic and social activities.
Fath Properties manages 8,000 apartment units in buildings throughout Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas. He is also a minority owner of the Cincinnati Reds.
The $100.4 million in giving so far this year is just shy of the $101 million the Faths gave in 2021, which landed them 28th on the list of the nation’s 50 largest philanthropists.
The Faths have appeared on the Philanthropy 50, the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual ranking of the nation’s 50 top donors, three times.
The Cincinnati couple have focused much of their charitable giving in recent years to Mercy Ships, a nonprofit that uses ships to deliver free health care to people in need in Africa. A 2021 $50 million gift followed a $50 million gift in 2018 to build the Global Mercy, the world’s largest nongovernmental hospital ship. The Faths first appeared on the Philanthropy 50 in 2017 with a $50 million gift to the Lindner Center of Hope. In 2018, their giving tallied $100 million between the Cincinnati Zoo and Mercy Ships. In 2021, they appeared again at $100 million with the gift to Mercy Ships and $50 million to the University of Notre Dame. Another 2021 gift of $1 million not included by the Chronicle was made to Purcell Marian High School.
Earlier this year, the Faths committed $50 million to St. Xavier High School, the largest gift in St. Xavier’s history and the lead gift for the school’s $200 million 200-year anniversary campaign. The Faths recently gave $400,000 to the Springer School, pushing it above a $15 million fundraising goal.