The Reilly Family, A Scranton Family

Sep 25, 2014

The Reilly family, whose gifts have made the Learning Commons in the Weinberg Memorial Library possible, has a deep connection to The University of Scranton. It all began when Joe Reilly took a job in the University’s maintenance department when he was still in high school. He loved Scranton so much that he stayed on for 43 years (with a stint away to serve in the military). 

Joe’s sisters Katherine “Kay” ’53 and Evelyn ’52 attended the University’s night school, Dexter Hanley College, and were two of the first female graduates in business. After graduation, they helped draft the charter that formed the Women’s Alumni Society and served as its officers for many years.

“Evelyn and Kay were trailblazers,” said Carol Maculloch, director of leadership gifts in University Advancement. “Their commitment and loyalty to their alma mater has remained a top priority throughout their lives.”

Kay and Joe established a scholarship in 2002, the year that Evelyn passed away. Joe, who later funded another scholarship, passed away in 2012 and donated part of his estate to the Library. When Kay witnessed the beautiful space under renovation in memory of her brother Joe, she made a generous donation to help enhance the Learning Commons. “I wanted to invest in an area that would help each and every student with his or her education and the Library was the perfect place to make an impact,” said Kay, who is now 92 years old. “Having a great library with state-of-the-art technology on campus is so important to a Scranton education.”

The Reilly Learning Commons officially opened Sept. 17 with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and the unveiling of two plaques commemorating the Reilly family’s commitment to the University.


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