Bucknell University has received the largest pledge in its 170-year history — a $20 million gift from Bob Malesardi, Class of 1945, and his wife, Doris. On Friday, Bucknell President John Bravman announced the pledge, which is in the form of a commitment from Bob Malesardi’s estate. It will be used solely to support financial aid.
“This is truly a transformative commitment to Bucknell, one that will greatly enhance our ability to attract outstanding students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend our University,” said Bravman. “Bob and Doris have a deep appreciation for the impact a Bucknell education can have on an individual. This gift will quite literally change the lives of an untold number of students, and we are profoundly grateful for Bob and Doris’ support.”
“This is one of the most meaningful and gratifying decisions of my life,” Bob Malesardi said. “All of the success I’ve experienced is in someway rooted in the education I received at Bucknell.”
Malesardi majored in accounting at Bucknell and was a member of the wrestling team, the Navy V-12 program and Sigma Chi. Prior to his retirement, the World War II veteran spent many years operating an accounting firm and developing real estate. Until recently, he co-owned the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, Fla. Malesardi is also a former Bucknell trustee whose previous gifts to the University have supported scholarships and the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library. To commemorate those gifts, in 1988 the University named one of the Gateway Residence Center buildings Malesardi Hall.
In honor of this historic Commitment, Bucknell’s Board of Trustees has approved renaming the University’s iconic Academic Quadrangle. Once finalized, the new name will ensure that the Malesardi legacy will endure at Bucknell in both name and spirit.
“Bob and Doris’ philanthropy marks a historic moment in the life of the University, and the Board of Trustees could not be more grateful for their inspiring vision and leadership,” said Ken Freeman, Class of 1972 and chair of Bucknell’s Board of Trustees. “This gift will benefit Bucknell in immeasurable ways for generations to come. By naming the academic heart of Bucknell for the Malesardis, our community will always be reminded of this magnificent commitment.”
The $20 million pledge pushes the total raised in WE DO, The Campaign for Bucknell University close to $400 million. The most ambitious campaign in University history, the WE DO Campaign seeks to raise half-a-billion dollars, $150 million of which will support the campaign’s top priority: scholarships and financial aid.
“I have sincere affection, pride and respect for this great University,” said Malesardi, who was 16 when he enrolled. “This pledge is the culmination of my 75-year relationship with Bucknell.”
For more information on this announcement, click here.
(Information from Andy Hirsch, Chief Communications Officer)