A Southern California real estate investor and entrepreneur who cites his Jesuit education as a crucial influence in his personal formation and professional success has made two pledges totaling $27 million to Boston College and Boston College High School to name two facilities at his former schools.
A son of Irish immigrants who worked part-time in his father’s bar to pay his way through school, Patrick F. Cadigan, the retired CEO and President of Electronic Engineering Company of California (EECO), says the discipline and moral training of his Jesuit teachers helped him become one of Southern California’s most successful businessmen.
His $15 million pledge to Boston College will result in the June dedication of the Cadigan Alumni Center, a new facility that will house BC’s advancement offices and serve as a home-away-from-home for Boston College’s 162,000 alumni — the largest Catholic alumni association in the world.
Cadigan, a Corona del Mar resident whose investments make him the largest private real estate holder in Orange County, has pledged $12 million to BC High, the largest gift in the school’s history and the largest ever received by a Catholic secondary school in New England. Cadigan Hall will serve as a new center for fine and performing arts and recreation.
“My education at BC High and Boston College was a great experience that taught me the importance of hard work, and instilled in me values and discipline that stayed with me throughout my years,” said Cadigan. “The foundation I received at both schools left an indelible impression on me, and prepared me for success in business and in life.”
Boston College President Rev. William P. Leahy, SJ, praised Cadigan’s commitment to Jesuit education.
“Pat Cadigan moved out west as a young man, but never forgot his Boston roots and his affection for Boston College. We are grateful for his generous support and delighted to have our new alumni center bear his name.”
BC High President William Kemeza said Cadigan’s gift would have a lasting effect on future generations of students.
“The innovative building that we will construct in honor of this donation will stand as a witness to his generosity and loyalty to the Jesuits, his classmates and the students and teachers who will benefit so much from this new facility,” Kameza said.
In addition to leading EECO for nearly 20 years, Cadigan sat on the boards of high tech and electronics firms and served as chairman and CEO of several public companies, including Gateway Communications, Inc., and Linear Instruments Corporation.
“My parents were not able to obtain a formal education, so I felt a very personal responsibility to give back to those wonderful schools that educated and shaped me,” said Cadigan. “It is an honor for me to support these schools and to thank them for all that they have done for me.”