Xavier lands record-tying $50M gift for new medical school

Xavier University received what it’s calling a “transformational” $50 million gift to support the creation of a College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The anonymous donation equals the largest in the Catholic university’s 192-year history. The school’s president, Colleen Hanycz, described the “historic gift” as allowing Xavier to take on an “essential role in our nation’s primary care landscape.”

The college’s inaugural class is set to enroll in 2027.

A rendering of the proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine on Xavier University’s campus.

“As our university approaches two centuries of intellectual, moral and spiritual education for our students, we continue laying the foundation for a Xavier that impacts even more lives in the decades ahead,” Hanycz said. “I could not be more grateful for the extraordinary generosity of this donor.”

Tackling Ohio’s health needs

Slated to become the nation’s first Jesuit Catholic medical school of its kind, the College of Osteopathic Medicine aims to address a critical need for additional primary care doctors throughout Ohio and beyond.

In late October, Xavier hired Dr. Steven Halm to serve as the college’s dean to lead the formation of the medical school. He’ll begin his new role in February.

University leaders hope to graduate the college’s first class in 2031, the same year XU celebrates its bicentennial. The inaugural class size will be about 75 students; however, Xavier plans to gradually expand class sizes to 150 per class.

“Xavier is tremendously blessed to have the support of such a humble family, whose generosity to our community cannot be overstated,” said Gary Massa, Xavier’s vice president for university relations.

‘Unprecedented outpouring of support’

Massa – a Xavier graduate and VP at the school since 1999 – praised Hanycz for her leadership since taking over as university’s 35th president in July 2021.

Over the past two years, Xavier experienced an “unprecedented outpouring of support” from people who believe in the school’s mission, Massa added.

Colleen Hanycz, President, Xavier University
Colleen Hanycz

The record-breaking fundraising period includes an estate gift of $50 million from Harry and Linda Fath and a $20 million donation from John and Sarah Lechleiter. That financial support is helping to make a Xavier education more affordable for future students. The school is also in the planning stages for a state-of-the-art science building on campus.

“Those investing in the university today are ensuring a lasting impact for generations of future students whose lives will improve through an education rooted in Jesuit Catholic values,” Massa said.

Xavier University College of Osteopathic Medicine