What do a wealthy oil baron, a generous Jesuit priest and a prolific economics professor have in common? Starting this spring, they share the official name of the University’s bookstore. The Besse Family Bookstore was permanently engraved on the store this spring following a generous donation from Nicholas A. Besse, S.J., the Jesuit priest who died last June and willed the University a gift in the name of his late brother, Clifford Besse, S.J., a fellow Jesuit and former professor and author.
Nicholas inherited the money from his uncle, Bill Moran, a Texas oil man who also gave money regularly to Bellarmine Chapel. After Nicholas died, his nephews, Bob and Ed Besse, toured campus to decide what naming opportunity to hang the Besse hat on. When they came to the bookstore, “It just hit me,” Bob says. “The day before, I’d opened the book written by my uncle and saw it was copyrighted by the Xavier University bookstore, and I thought, here’s the omen. God put us on the front of the bookstore.”
Their gift will keep on giving, too —it includes shares of an oil well that will pay dividends each year.