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$50,000 Gift from GCU Grad Benefits Apollo Fountain Project

GCU Apollo fountain with rainbow.

Alumni giving is as strong as ever at Georgian Court following a $50,000 gift by university donor and Trustee Patricia Smith Heanue ’68. The major gift will help with improvements to the university’s iconic Apollo Fountain, which was installed in 1902.

“Our alumni donors make an extraordinary difference in the lives of students and the in the legacy of our campus,” said GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D.

“We are extremely grateful for Patricia Heanue’s generosity and ongoing contributions to Georgian Court.”

Alumni Giving Supports Students and More

Ms. Heanue’s gift was made during Giving Tuesday 2018, the national day of fundraising that occurs just after Thanksgiving each year. Her recent $50,000 donation and contributions by others raised a total of more than $93,000 for Georgian Court, more than doubling the university’s one-day giving record set in 2017.

Patricia Smith Heanue
GCU Trustee Patricia Smith Heanue ’68

The contributions help with everything from student scholarships and emergency funds to athletics support and campus improvement projects.

“As a graduate of the Class of 1968 from Georgian Court, I spent many hours enjoying the beauty, tranquility, and uniqueness of our campus,” said Ms. Heanue. “Central to those memories are the Apollo Fountain, the Japanese Garden, the Mansion and the Casino (my freshman-year dormitory where Sister Maria Cordis was ‘house mom’).”

Donors Invest for the Future of Georgian Court

The Class of 1968 celebrated its 50th anniversary this year with a major donation. During Reunion Homecoming weekend, the group presented President Marbach with a check for $103,436 for a scholarship fund honoring the late S. Mary Arthur Beal, their beloved class advisor, and lifelong mentor.

GCU graduation with graduates smiling in front of Apollo fountain.
Graduation Day 2018

Throughout the weekend celebration, the graduates’ enduring friendships and the sprawling beauty of the campus grounds, including the fountain, took center stage.

The imposing bronze figure of Apollo leading a chariot surrounded by winged seahorses, mermaids and cherubs is popular year-round. But the historic waterworks operate only on special occasions, like Commencement. For decades, GCU seniors have walked through the Italian Garden to reach the Apollo Fountain one last time before becoming alumni. After the ceremony, graduates return to the fountain for family photos.

“The stewardship of this campus for the next generation of GCU graduates is one of the things I care most about in my role as a trustee,” said Ms. Heanue. “My husband John and I hope this gift towards the restoration of the historic Apollo Fountain will help preserve it for future graduates as they walk their own senior path!”

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Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by Money.com and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, GCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.