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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Keoughs donate $30 million for new building


Donald and Marilyn Keough recently donated $30 million to underwrite the construction costs for a new building that will house four international studies institutes, the University stated in a press release Oct. 18.

The building will be named Jenkins Hall in honor of University President Fr. John Jenkins. It will house the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies. The hall will also provide additional spaces for the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the release stated. 

"This wonderful gift is the most recent instance of Don and MickieKeough's tremendous generosity to Notre Dame," Jenkins said in the press release. "I am truly humbled by their request to name this magnificent addition to our campus in my honor and grateful beyond words for their gift. ... This extraordinary gift will inspire us to become a more global University, bringing the world to Notre Dame and Notre Dame to the world."

Jenkins Hall will be constructed adjacent to Nanovic Hall, which is also to be built, the release stated. Together the halls will occupy 170,000 square feet. According to the release, the two-year construction is expected to be completed by the 2017-18 academic year.

In addition to the Keoughs' donation, a $5 million contribution to finance construction has been made by the Kellogg and Kroc Institutes, Paolo Carozza, director of the Kellogg Institute, said. 

"By being in a new space that unites other institutes, we're really hoping that it's going to generate all sorts of new synergies and opportunities to collaborate because right now we're spread out in different parts of the campus," Carozza said. 

There has been a proposal to found a school for international affairs, acting director of the Liu Institute Nelson Mark said. He said this school could also use the new space in Jenkins Hall and be near international institutes.

"It just makes sense for international institutes and people in that school [for international affairs] to be near each other," Mark said.

Currently, the Liu Institute is located in McKenna Hall and is confined by space, Mark said. He expects the new space will be hugely beneficial for the institute.

"It's going to unleash all the potential," Mark said. "The space constraint is just one of the constraints on the resources on what we can do effectively. Having a physical space is just one piece of the puzzle, but it's a very important piece."

In the past, Mark said the institute has requested spaces for staff, faculty and visitors, as well as for conference rooms and a gathering room for students pursuing Asian Studies.

Similarly, Keough-Naughton Institute director Christopher Fox said the new space will be crucial to the expansion of the institute, which had begun with just two faculty members and now has 23 full-time and 10 visiting faculty.

"We, as an institute, have outgrown our space," Fox said. "We teach hundreds of students, we have many graduate students, we have many visiting faculty coming in - we have a lot of things happening. It's gotten to the point now where this is really the next move for this institute."

Fox said the building will give the institute a better environment for speakers. 

"Just almost every week, we have major speakers," he said. "The room here we have is right next to the elevators. It's not a very good place for people to speak. The new building would give us better space for those kind of things."

The Keoughs have previously contributed to other parts of Notre Dame, including the Keough-Naughton Institute, Malloy Hall and Keough Hall.

"Our family has been blessed in many ways, and that certainly includes the blessing of our longtime association with this great University," Donald Keough said in the press release. "We believe in the power of Notre Dame to be a force for good in the world, and we know that the research and teaching that will be accomplished in this new facility will contribute to that end. We're especially pleased that the building will bear the name of [University President Fr. John Jenkins], who has made the continued internationalization of the University a top priority."

Carozza said the Keoughs' donation fosters a unique opportunity for Notre Dame.

"It's pretty amazing to be at a place like Notre Dame where the benefactors of the University are so generous, so plentiful and so committed of the future of the place," he said. "A project like this shows what a special place Notre Dame is."

Contact Paul Kim at