Announcing the Cadigan Gift

Patrick F. CadiganClaremont Graduate University has received a $42 million philanthropic commitment from a foundation established by alumnus Patrick F. Cadigan for a new building that will become the home of the School of Arts & Humanities and a nexus for entrepreneurial business faculty and students.

Cadigan, an Orange County real estate investor and former tech CEO, earned his master’s degree (1978) and PhD in executive management (1980) while studying under the legendary Peter Drucker.

“Dad felt a strong personal responsibility to give back to the schools that contributed to the man he became and to the high level of success he achieved,” said Maria Cadigan about her father, who passed away in April 2020. “He considered it a great blessing to live in a country like ours and have the privileged opportunity to enjoy a level of education like CGU offers.”

The new building will be located on a two-acre vacant lot due north of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. See drone footage of the proposed site of the Cadigan building below.

The space offers a blank canvas—“a tremendous opportunity for CGU to build something whose form and function inspire innovation and entrepreneurship,” said University President Len Jessup in an announcement sent to the CGU community. “The working name in our master plan for the two-acre lot is the Da Vinci Project. That sets a high bar for what we want to accomplish, and thanks to Mr. Cadigan, that goal is within our reach.”

Read the full announcement

Paying It Forward in Brick and Mortar

The Cadigan Philosophy of Philanthropy

As his former friend and mentor Peter Drucker taught him, Patrick F. Cadigan believed in the social responsibility of companies—that every company’s goal isn’t profits alone but that each has an obligation to support a functioning society with its success.

With that in mind, Cadigan created a thriving company, Cadigan Communities, in addition to giving back to the educational institutions that taught him. His philanthropy sought to support infrastructural improvements and create learning spaces to enhance students’ academic experience. He has provided gifts to create buildings at his alma maters, including Boston College High School, Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, and now CGU.

Largest Gift in CGU History

Patrick F. Cadigan’s $42-million philanthropic commitment marks the largest that the university has received in its 97-year history.

Other significant gifts to CGU include $20 million from Masatoshi Ito, Japanese entrepreneur and friend of Peter Drucker, in 2003 in support of the Drucker School (which added Ito’s name to the school in recognition of this gift). Businessman Ron Burkle provided $2 million to support construction of the building that is the home of the Drucker School of Management.

More recently, in 2020, CGU created a partnership and received $14 million from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to establish the Yuhaaviatam Center for Health Studies in the iconic building that housed the Huntley Bookstore of The Claremont Colleges.

Other recent gifts to CGU include $4.5 million from the family of alumna Francisca Toery-Kohler, which is the university’s largest gift in support of student fellowships; $5.4 million from the Koch Foundation to support students working in the university’s Computational Justice Lab, led by Director Gregory DeAngelo; and $2 million to create the Engelberg Fellowships in the Mathematical Sciences, which supports students in the university’s Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Carrying the CGU Flame Forward

A Message from CGU President Len Jessup

Len JessupThe world’s problems are very complicated. No single area of expertise, no single discipline, is enough to solve them.

That is why at CGU, we embrace a transdisciplinary philosophy—which means we recognize the best responses to the world’s most complex challenges involve moving beyond a single discipline or field of expertise.

That philosophy of learning without limits or boundaries has trained many of our students for a long time. Its visibility on campus can be seen in the recent purchase of the Huntley Bookstore building to become the home of the Yuhaaviatam Center for Health Studies, a research center based in that transdisciplinary philosophy and focused on integrated health and well-being.

That philosophy will be enhanced even more by the generosity of Patrick F. Cadigan. We will use it to build an incredible new campus facility dedicated to creating synergies among several different disciplines and professions under one roof, including elements of the arts, humanities, entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership.

Unlike much larger institutions, CGU’s size makes it possible for us to nimbly implement these and other related concepts in tangible and meaningful ways. CGU’s centennial will take place in 2025, and the effort now underway will set the tone for our next hundred years. It is an exciting example of how CGU is making significant progress in its mission to be a global leader in transformative graduate education.

I am so pleased, and I am sure Mr. Cadigan would be, too, to have his name associated with an approach to problem-solving that is central to CGU’s identity, and that is changing the face of higher education.

Responding to the World’s Complex Challenges

The Transdisciplinary Philosophy at CGU

Nurturing the Vital Connections Between Management and the Humanities

The Cadigan Building, named for alumnus and benefactor Patrick F. Cadigan, will be unique within CGU and The Claremont Colleges—a place with a human-centered architectural design that invites collaboration and creativity. It will serve as a nexus for innovation, ingenuity, and transdisciplinary research and will be the new home for the School of Arts & Humanities. Faculty and scholars in business and other disciplines who share a passion for entrepreneurship will also be welcomed, as will those in public and private sectors interested in honing or discovering skills.

Proactive Responses
to Public Health Challenges

In partnership with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Claremont Graduate University is the home of the Yuhaaviatam Center for Health Studies, a research hub and living laboratory for health and well-being unique in higher education. The center brings together scholars from CGU’s seven schools and divisions to conduct innovative research on proactive and behavioral approaches to health in a variety of areas, including prevention strategies, chronic
disease management, and health-driven technologies that provide access to support networks and programs.


About Claremont Graduate University

Founded in 1925, Claremont Graduate University is one of a select few American universities devoted solely to graduate-level education. The university is a founding member of The Claremont Colleges, which include Pomona College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College, Scripps College, Harvey Mudd College, and Keck Graduate Institute. CGU comprises seven schools offering 76 degree and certificate programs. The university’s unique transdisciplinary perspective encourages students to explore complex issues across academic disciplines. CGU is home to the Peter F. Drucker & Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management and the annual Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards.

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About Patrick F. Cadigan

Patrick Finbar Cadigan was born in Stoneham, MA, and raised in Cambridge, MA. The proud son of Irish immigrants, he received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, MBA from Boston University, an AMP at Harvard Graduate Business School, and a master’s and doctorate in management at Claremont Graduate University, where he studied with his mentor Peter Drucker. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army infantry. He was the CEO of four technology companies and, for 50 years, built one of the largest private real estate portfolios in Orange County, CA. Crediting his Jesuit teachers at Boston College High School and Boston College for their influence contributing to his professional success, he has been recognized for his philanthropic gifts in a variety of venues.

For more on Mr. Cadigan’s life, see the biography included in the media kit.

Giving Opportunities

If you are interested in learning more about the Cadigan project and potential giving opportunities, please contact Kristen Andersen-Daley, Vice President, Development & External Relations.

Media Kit

  • Official News Release
  • Cadigan Gift FAQ
  • Patrick Cadigan Biography
  • Patrick Cadigan Photo

Download Media Kit