Seton Hall University alumnus and board chair emeritus Patrick M. Murray ’64/MBA ’72 and his wife Mary Ann Pfaff Murray announced they are adding $2 million to their recent gift of $5 million to the university, for a total gift of $7 million towards the South Orange-based university’s strategic initiatives. The Murrays’ philanthropy has supported a wide range of university priorities, such as need-based and merit-based scholarships, a faculty position, athletics programming, and capital projects outlined in the university’s campus vision. Their latest gift will support the upcoming construction of a new basketball practice facility on campus, which is in the initial planning stage.
“Pat and Mary Ann show us what can happen when you combine loyalty, vision, and action,” said University President Dr. Joseph E. Nyre. “Pat entered Seton Hall as a first-generation college student, worked hard, and achieved extraordinary professional success. He and Mary Ann have come back to help the next generation by investing in students, faculty, academics, athletics, and facilities. We are tremendously grateful for their investment in the future of Seton Hall and our students.”
Over the years, the Murrays’ giving has permeated nearly every corner of the university. They established the endowed Patrick M. and Mary Ann Pfaff Murray Scholarships which have enabled hundreds of students to enroll at the university and finish their degrees. With over 32% of the latest incoming freshman class coming from families with an average household income of $40,000 or less, Seton Hall considers its number-one priority to be growing endowed scholarships for these students.
“Providing funds to support our neediest students has the greatest impact on our Catholic mission and our student outcomes,” said Senior Vice President of Enrollment Management Alyssa McCloud, Ph.D. “Supporting need-based scholarships ensures that the most vulnerable students are given the academic and financial support they need to ensure they can graduate from Seton Hall. We are grateful to the Murrays for helping us fulfill this mission.”
Knowing that endowed faculty positions signal the intellectual values of an institution, the Murrays endowed a faculty chair position at the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall. Established in 1950, Stillman is ranked number 106 among business schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report metrics, placing it in the top 20 percent.
“Pat is one of our greatest success stories not only because of his rise to a top leadership position in an esteemed company, but also because he is giving back to later generations of students and alumni. We are honored and grateful that Pat and Mary Ann continue to be involved with the school in the deepest way,” said Joyce Strawser, dean of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall.
Because of the Murrays’ generous support of Seton Hall Athletics, Pat was inducted into the department’s Hall of Fame in 2020. Since the BIG EAST realignment in 2013, Seton Hall has captured nine conference championships across five different sports: men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s golf, men’s swimming & diving, and men’s soccer. The men’s basketball team made four NCAA Tournament appearances between 2016-19, won the 2020 BIG EAST regular season championship and was ranked top-10 in the nation before their fifth-straight NCAA bid was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Pat and Mary Ann’s generous gift towards athletics has given us momentum as we push forward with the creation of our new basketball practice facility, an exciting and much-needed capital project we have been planning for several years,” noted Director of Athletics & Recreation Bryan Felt. “Thank you to Pat and Mary Ann for helping us continue to transform the student-athlete experience here at Seton Hall. A gift to Pirate Blue not only benefits athletics; it lifts the profile of the university and enhances the Seton Hall experience for every student in our community.”
Like many Setonians, Murray was the first in his family to attend college. After earning his accounting degree from Seton Hall, he served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1966. After his military service, he relied on Seton Hall’s career-services office to help him find an accounting position. He worked his way up through several corporations, finally serving as chairman of the board and chief executive officer at Dresser, an energy infrastructure and oilfield products and services company. He retired in 2007.
“I hope that our giving will stand as an impetus to other alumni and friends of this great university,” said Murray. “Mary Ann and I realize that Seton Hall has many strengths and many needs, and we want to make a difference to as many students as possible.”
“Pat and Mary Ann are having a tremendous impact on our students, student-athletes, and everyone in the Seton Hall community,” said Jon Paparsenos ’99, vice president for University Advancement. “Their generosity multiplies our resources and transforms the student experience at Seton Hall. We are grateful for their holistic philanthropy and hope it serves as a model for other alumni.”
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