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Saint Francis University receives $375,000 gift to Red Flash athletics program

January 17, 2012

Saint Francis University is proud to announce that one of the institution’s longtime supporters has made a generous gift of $375,000 to support Red Flash athletics. Jack M. Calandra, a Cresson businessman, and his wife, Genevieve, made the gift to enhance the facilities of the expanding Red Flash athletics program.

 Saint Francis University is proud to announce that one of the institution’s longtime supporters has made a generous gift of $375,000 to support Red Flash athletics. Jack M. Calandra, a Cresson businessman, and his wife, Genevieve, made the gift to enhance the facilities of the expanding Red Flash athletics program.

When asked about why he chose to make this gift, Mr. Calandra stated, “I have always been a strong believer in the value of Catholic education and in the character-building qualities that Catholic institutions, particularly Saint Francis, instill in their students. I believe Catholic education creates business, civic, and religious leaders with knowledge, drive, and ethics. This gift continues my tradition of supporting Catholic educational institutions.”

“We are so thankful for this generous gift from Jack and Jenny Calandra,” shared University President Father Gabriel Zeis, T.O.R. “These funds will help us to provide for the welfare of our student athletes who are working so very hard to excel in both their academic studies and in their chosen sports.”

Mr. Calandra has a long-standing relationship with the University. He is a former member of the University’s Board of Trustees, and in 2003, he received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Saint Francis.

In addition to their ties with the University, Mr. and Mrs. Calandra have been long-time supporters of Catholic education in the region. Over the years, they have lent financial support to Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg, where their children went to high school, as well as providing gifts to many organizations that further the cause of Catholic education. They are parishioners of St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church in Cresson.

Beyond their support of Catholic education, the Calandras’ impact can be felt throughout the Cresson community and the broader region thanks to their strong commitment to fund local projects such as Veterans Park in Cresson and the Coal Miners Memorial in Lilly.

Founded in 1847, Saint Francis University is the oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning in the country, and one of the oldest Catholic colleges in the nation.