While many in the region have welcomed and praised Duquesne’s bold venture into medical education with its announcement of a proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine, three Pittsburgh philanthropists are providing leadership to help make it happen.
John G. Rangos, Sr., John R. McGinley, Jr. and Rhodora Donahue, widow of the late John F. Donahue, have each made seven-figure pledges to Duquesne in support of the new medical school, which is now scheduled to open in fall 2024. Together, the gifts total more than $7.5 million toward the $50 million in funds Duquesne needs to raise in support of the medical college. For these people, the commitments are just the latest in their established records of generous philanthropic leadership at Duquesne.
“The names Rangos, McGinley and Donahue each hold prominent places in Duquesne’s proud history,” said University President Ken Gormley. “Having all three families join forces in this initiative speaks volumes about their confidence in our future, as we seek to transform medical education in our region and address health care disparities in underserved communities.”
The gifts come amid a global moment where the importance not just of medicine but of population health and community medicine could not be more apparent. Originally scheduled to accept its first class in 2023, the School is now projected to open a year later due to COVID-19 related disruptions.
“The significance and timing of these gifts matters, and I am grateful to be able to provide this key early support. But there is still a long way to go in terms of fund raising,” said McGinley, who also chairs Duquesne’s Board of Directors. “Duquesne’s potential impact with the medical school makes this a very worthy project.”
John M. Kauffman, D.O., the School’s founding dean, said the pandemic only underscores the previously existing need for the primary care physicians Duquesne’s new medical school will prepare.
“In an age where we battle health crises like the corona pandemic the need is greatly accentuated, especially in urban areas which are hardest hit and in rural areas which have fewer physicians per capita,” Kauffman said. “Our new medical school will train the next generation of primary care and front-line emergency physicians using the latest cutting-edge technology. These physicians will meet the needs in our state, our region, and the nation, as well as the healthcare challenges of the future.
“Benefactors like Mr. Rangos, Mr. McGinley and the Donahue family will help make our vision a reality,” Kauffman added. “Their generosity will improve the quality of life in western Pennsylvania and beyond.”
John Rangos spurred the growth of health related programs at Duquesne nearly 30 years ago with a gift to establish the John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences. The School offers nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate programs in athletic training, bioengineering, health administration, public health, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, rehabilitation science and speech-language pathology.
Rangos’ generosity to Duquesne has since included funding for an endowed chair in health sciences and ethics, endowed scholarships for students in Rangos School professional phase programs, and renovations to School facilities. Most recently, he has supported the establishment of the Rangos Prizes, harnessing the creativity of Duquesne faculty and students to develop innovative classes and learning materials that help address problems facing current and future generations.
Formerly the chairman of Chambers Development Co. and vice-chair of USA Waste, Rangos was a pioneer in the environmental services industry and currently heads the John G. Rangos, Sr. Charitable Foundations. In addition to Duquesne, Rangos has supported scores of regional and national nonprofits, including Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, the Carnegie Science Center, Carnegie Mellon University and Johns Hopkins University, along with veterans and Greek heritage organizations.
Jack McGinley currently serves as chairman of Duquesne’s board of directors and has supported a wide variety of initiatives at Duquesne over more than three decades. A 1968 graduate of Duquesne’s Law School and trustee of the Rita M. McGinley Foundation, he has been instrumental in funding scholarships, a public service fellowship and building improvements in the Law School, a Nursing School symposium series on health care justice for vulnerable populations, renovations to the University’s psychology clinic, and refurbishing the pipe organ in Duquesne’s historic Chapel of the Holy Spirit.
A member and chair of the executive committee with law firm Eckert Seamans, McGinley has also served as a director of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Wilson McGinley Inc. and chaired Pittsburgh Mercy Hospital through its joining with UPMC. He is a past board chair at his undergraduate alma mater, St. Bonaventure University. His family and foundation have contributed to a broad range of organizations providing education, health care and services fighting homelessness and hunger, including the Rita M. McGinley Chair in Early Learning and Children’s Media in the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College. Mr. McGinley, along with the Donahue family, also provided leadership support for the McGinley Dining Hall and the Lasallian Counseling Center at Central Catholic High School.
Jack Donahue is the namesake of Duquesne’s Graduate School of Business Administration and, with his wife, Rhodora, also established a chair in investment management at the School. He attended Duquesne University for a semester while awaiting military assignment during World War II and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1990. After the war, he returned home and began selling mutual funds from his kitchen table. With two classmates from Central Catholic High School, he founded Federated Investors in 1955. Now known as Federated Hermes, the firm manages nearly $606 billion in assets worldwide.
Donahue passed away in 2017, but Rhodora, their 13 children and their family foundation have remained steadfast supporters of Duquesne, along with other Catholic causes, arts and culture organizations, and agencies serving youth and the visually impaired in Pittsburgh and across the country. Beneficiaries of their philanthropy have included Oakland Catholic and Central Catholic high schools, the Extra Mile Foundation, Holy Family Institute, John Carroll University and Ave Maria University.
Duquesne’s proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine will be the second medical school in Pittsburgh and the first Catholic osteopathic school in Pennsylvania. Housed in a new 80,000-square-foot facility to be built along Forbes Avenue, it will serve as the hub for integrative health initiatives encompassing all of Duquesne’s other schools, including renowned programs in health sciences, nursing and pharmacy.