“Observe the turtle,” Charlie Gallagher likes to say. “It can’t make any progress unless it sticks its neck out.”
Gallagher, a 1960 economics graduate, spent a lifetime sticking his neck out, taking risks and making progress. A lot of progress. After turning around a number of struggling industrial businesses, he created his own private equity firm and has managed more than 20 middle-market mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. He has saved companies and created jobs.
But perhaps nobody—or no place—has benefitted more from Gallagher’s expertise and leadership than Xavier. In December, Gallagher retired from the Board of Trustees after serving 20 years.
He is, of course, the namesake of the Gallagher Student Center, for which he contributed $9 million. He’s also the primary funder of the Conaton Learning Commons, which he chose to name in honor of former Board chairman and friend Michael Conaton.
Gallagher also sponsored a scholarship program called the Pacesetter Program in which he underwrote the education of inner-city students from his alma maters, St. Martin de Porres and Central Catholic High School in Toledo.
It is, he says, more satisfying to give your treasures away than it is to accumulate them.
“We are a better institution because of Charlie’s contributions,” says University President Michael Graham, S.J., “and we are extremely grateful for his commitment and generosity to Xavier.”