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John J. Gallagher, Esq. ’69

John J. Gallagher, Esq. ‘69

Like many students of his generation, Jack Gallagher ’69 commuted to classes at Scranton. That didn’t keep him from participating in a full slate of extracurricular activities that he recalls to this day with incredible fondness – and gratitude.

A four-year member of the student government, Gallagher also served on the Aquinas and in the political science club and prelaw society. Such immersion in Scranton’s cocurricular life so prepared him for a successful career in law that he and his wife, Kathy, have made a leadership gift commitment to the Pride, Passion, Promise Campaign. Furthermore, they have decided to name the student forum, a hub for the University’s current student activities in the new Patrick & Margaret DeNaples Center, in honor of Rev. Henry J. Butler, S.J., a former executive vice president for student affairs at the University who died in office in 1981. Gallagher said “In the Jesuit tradition, Father Butler was a great mentor and role model for all of us who were involved in student activities; it is quite fitting to honor his memory in this way.”

“I got a very good education and very good preparation for law school, and I was very involved in student activities, which helped me learn a lot outside the classroom, as well,” Gallagher notes. “It gave me the self-confidence that I could compete in the broader world around us.”
In addition to his current support of Scranton, Gallagher has included the University in his estate plans, a move he calls not only convenient for him and beneficial to Scranton, but also inspiring to others who may not be aware of the plusses of planned giving.

“By including it in my will and communicating it to the University, I’m able to make them aware of it and have them count it and use it as a way to show others there are creative ways of giving,” he explains.

Gallagher believes it was only through the generosity of those who came before him that he was able to enjoy the fruits of a Scranton education. Without those courses, without the Jesuits’ influence, and without, of course, the opportunities presented to him through his participation outside the classroom, he does not feel he’d be where he is today. Future generations, he feels, deserve that same chance.

“I have a deep loyalty and a sense of obligation,” Gallagher says. “I went to the University on scholarship because I didn’t have any money and couldn’t afford it on my own. That heightens my sense of obligation to pay it forward, as they say in the movies.”

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