Notre Dame Alumni Withhold $8.2 Million Over Pro-Abortion Obama Invitation
by Steven Ertelt
April 27, 2009
South Bend, IN (LifeNews.com) — University of Notre Dame alumni have withheld a total of $8.2 million in planned donations to the Catholic college as a result of its decision to have pro-abortion President Barack Obama give the commencement address at its upcoming graduation ceremonies.
David DiFranco, a Michigan businessman and Notre Dame graduate, started the effort to withhold donations to the college.
He has put together a web site, ReplaceJenkins.com, urging fellow alumni to not only withhold donations but to call on replacing ND president John Jenkins, who invited Obama and has strongly defended the decision.
The web site has received over 900 pledges from alumni and donors promising to withhold future donations and several of the largest gifts include estate bequests to the University that have been removed from donors wills.
We knew many donors and alums were unhappy with the decision to honor a pro-abortion president, but we never expected this large of a response," DiFranco told LifeNews.com. "We can hardly keep up, and this is only the beginning. We can only imagine what fundraisers at the University are experiencing, but understandably not reporting.
DiFranco says the $8.2 figure is a very conservative estimate as he and his colleagues are dismissing some bogus claims of withholding donations and have waited on tallying others to verify their accuracy.
"We are speaking directly with donors, and in several cases we have spoken with estate attorneys to confirm that Notre Dame has been stripped from a donors will. We are going about this process with a critical eye in order that the numbers we report are accurate," he said.
DiFranco told LifeNews.com he thinks the final financial impact for Notre Dame inviting Obama will be monumental.
As momentum continues to build, we are now certain that the financial penalty resulting from the decision to honor the most pro-abortion president in our nations history, will be enormous," he said.
"The fact that this effort is necessary is unfortunate. However, alumni and supporters of Notre Dame have little other recourse than to protest with their pocketbooks. We will continue our efforts as long as it is necessary to bring about positive change at Notre Dame," he concluded.
News of the donations came on the same day that former Vatican ambassador and Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon announced she would not speak at the university nor accept an award from it.
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