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McCarthey family provides generous gift to Gonzaga athletics, university

UPDATED: Wed., July 22, 2020

Phil McCarthey and his family donated the money needed to build the McCarthey Athletic Center.   (Jacob Thorpe/Courtesy)
Phil McCarthey and his family donated the money needed to build the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (Jacob Thorpe/Courtesy)

Gonzaga on Wednesday announced it received a large gift to the athletic department as well as a donation to the university from the McCarthey family.

The McCarthey siblings, Tom, Phil, Sarah and Maureen, are long-time supporters of the school and athletics, including major contributions to the $26 million McCarthey Athletic Center – home to Gonzaga men’s and women’s basketball – that opened in 2004.

Gonzaga, its athletic department, and schools, nationwide are encountering uncertainty and budget concerns created by the COVID-19 pandemic. That was one of the reasons for the timing of the McCarthey family’s unspecified donation.

“We realized how much the coronavirus was going to affect Gonzaga and this athletic department has just meant so much to us,” Tom McCarthey said. “We wanted to do what we could to keep the best coaches, the best student-athletes and scholarships intact. We were very fortunate to be in a position where we could do that.”

“Our goal with the gift is to fill the need,” Phil said. “You can’t tame all the uncertainties, but we wanted to do what we could do. While athletics is very important, we wanted to make sure that we were supporting student scholarships as well.”

The McCartheys closely follow GU’s basketball programs and often attend the Zags’ NCAA Tournament games.

“The McCartheys have been game-changers for the university and, very specifically for GU athletics with their support, and they continue to step up in a big, big way for us,” athletic director Mike Roth said.

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