The Campaign to Save Ralston Hall

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Anonymous Donor Steps Forward with $1.35 million Gift to Help Restore Ralston Hall

Gift puts Notre Dame de Namur University a quarter of the way towards meeting challenge

Belmont, Calif., January 30, 2015—Notre Dame de Namur University moved a giant step closer to meeting a $6 million challenge grant made by philanthropist Tad Taube to fund the restoration of Ralston Hall, a national historical landmark, on the NDNU campus when an anonymous donor made a $1.35 million gift to the university.

The donor, a former trustee, stipulated that the gift could be used for the restoration of Ralston Hall which was closed in 2012 for seismic retrofitting. It has been estimated that the total cost to seismically retrofit the mansion and restore it to full use for administration and classrooms, would be $20 million.

In November 2014, Philanthropist Tad Taube issued a challenge grant of $6 million to the university. The challenge required NDNU to raise a matching $6 million by the end of 2015, and Mr. Taube has also agreed to lead a campaign to raise the additional $8 million needed to complete the project. The $1.35 million anonymous gift, added to other funds raised since the announcement of the Taube Challenge brings the total challenge funds raised to $1.5 million, a quarter of what is needed to meet the Taube Challenge.

“I am more than pleased to see that the university has moved so rapidly to meet the challenge I made,” said Mr. Taube. “Ralston Hall played a significant role in the history and growth of San Francisco and the west, and deserves to be preserved both as a link with the past and as an important resource to the university and the community.”

Before its closure, Ralston Hall mansion had been the home of more than 60 faculty and staff offices and was the university’s major venue for musical performances, large meetings and conferences, as well as some community events. Built in 1868, Ralston Hall was the summer home of financier William Ralston, who used the mansion to entertain influential individuals who could contribute to the growth of California and the western part of the country. It became the home for then College of Notre Dame in 1923.

For more information about the Taube Challenge grant for Ralston Hall or to make a donation, contact: Dino Hernandez, Vice President for University Advancement, 650-508-3512, dhernandez@ndnu.edu.

Philanthropist Tad Taube Announces $6 Million Challenge Grant to Restore Notre Dame de Namur University’s Ralston Hall

NDNU’s largest ever gift is first step in $20 million restoration of historical landmark

Belmont, Calif., November 24, 2014 — Notre Dame de Namur University has received a $6 million challenge grant from Tad Taube, chairman of Taube Philanthropies, to begin the seismic retrofit and restoration of Ralston Hall mansion, a national historical landmark, on the NDNU campus, NDNU President Judith Maxwell Greig announced today.

“I believe we owe it to ourselves and to future generations to save historical landmarks such as Ralston Hall, which is important architecturally and has played so central a role in the history of California,” said Taube. “I am delighted to be able to help NDNU take the first step in restoring this building which has become so important to the university’s operation and atmosphere. It is now up to the NDNU community to raise the additional $6 million that will allow the restoration to begin.” The Taube Challenge is a dollar for dollar challenge of $6 million that starts January 1, 2015 and concludes on December 31, 2015. Notre Dame de Namur University must raise the full $6 million in gifts and pledges within 12 months in order to receive the Taube Challenge grant of $6 million.

Taube announced the gift November 21 at the university’s inaugural donor recognition dinner at Carolands Chateau in Hillsborough. Ralston Hall, a national historical landmark built in 1868, had served as the heart of the NDNU campus from 1923 until it was closed due to concerns over earthquake safety in 2012.

“On behalf of NDNU, I wish to thank Tad for his generous gift and assure him that we welcome the opportunity he has given us and we will meet this challenge,” said Dr. Greig. “I know every member of the NDNU community—faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees and friends—will work tirelessly to match this gift and to raise any additional funds necessary to fully restore Ralston Hall to what it once was—the heart of the NDNU campus, a place where we work, study and celebrate.”

Before its closure in April 2012, Ralston Hall mansion had been the home of more than 60 faculty and staff offices and was the university’s major venue for musical performances, large meetings and conferences, as well as some community events. The cost of restoring the mansion has been estimated at $20 million, including $12 million for the seismic retrofit alone. Built in 1868, Ralston Hall was the summer home of financier William Ralston, who used the mansion to entertain influential individuals who could contribute to the growth of California and the western part of the country. It became the home for then College of Notre Dame in 1923.

For more information about the Taube Challenge grant for Ralston Hall or to make a donation, contact: Dino Hernandez, Vice President for University Advancement, (650) 508 3512, dhernandez@ndnu.edu

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