Family Gift Honors a Mother's Inspiration

Kevin J. O’Donohue, MBA ’87, and his wife, Laura, honor his mother by making a gift to the Knight Management Center, and dedicating a named space to her in the Bass Center.

March 15, 2011

An appreciation for Stanford and a deep belief in the transformational power of higher education led Kevin J. O’Donohue, MBA ’87, and his wife, Laura, to make their first major gift to Stanford GSB.

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Kevin O’Donohue, MBA ’87

Kevin O’Donohue, MBA ’87 (fourth from left), with his family: son Andrew, daughter Catherine, wife Laura, mother Joanne, MA ’85, and daughters Amelia and Juliana

When Kevin graduated from the school, his mother had just earned her master’s degree in communication from Stanford two years earlier, taking classes after working on campus in both the business and law schools for several years. When Kevin and his wife thought about making a gift to the Knight Management Center, they wanted to honor his mother by dedicating a named space for her.

The O’Donohue Family Classroom, located on the third floor of the Bass Center, is dedicated to Joanne M. O’Donohue, MA ’85, for encouraging education, leadership, compassion, and creativity.

“Dedicating a classroom to my mother is a very fitting tribute to a parent whose commitment to higher education was a great inspiration to me,” says Kevin.

The O’Donohues’ generosity was further recognized by the naming of a study space, also on the third floor of the Bass Center, the four-story centerpiece building of the Knight Management Center that contains a library, classrooms, and top-floor reading and board rooms. The family wanted to designate a location that would be frequently used by students.

The family, which provides financial support to other areas of Stanford University as well, strongly believes in Dean Garth Saloner’s vision for the school. Kevin, who worked in Germany before getting his MBA, especially likes the Global Experience Requirement that all MBA students must fulfill before the beginning of their second year through an international trip, exchange, or eligible internship.

The O’Donohues, who own and run an organic farm outside of New York City, are advocates of environmental sustainability and green architecture. They appreciate that the Knight Management Center is expected to achieve LEED Platinum from the U.S. Green Building Council.

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