PROVIDENCE — Providence College (PC) has announced that it has received a $1 million donation to support both student-athletes and other prospective students in accessing a PC education. The gift, from Bill and Jacalyn Egan, the grandparents of students in the classes of 2018 and 2024, will be split between the new Egan Family Fund for Friar Basketball and the Egan Family Scholarship Fund, an endowed scholarship which will support students from the Aquidneck Island communities of Portsmouth, Middletown, and Newport.
“I’m a huge believer in education and the need for financial aid and scholarship money for students,” said Bill Egan.
The Egans, lifelong residents of Newport, have been consistent supporters of Providence College. Bill Egan and men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley have a close relationship dating to when Cooley was a coach at Fairfield University, Bill’s alma mater. Their relationship has strengthened over the years due to a shared love of Providence College basketball.
“We have tremendous respect for Ed, not just as a coach but as a person and what’s he done with the PC program,” Bill said. “He’s passionate, incredibly hardworking, dedicated. He’s committed to trying to get the best out of each athlete, not only as an athlete but as a person. We want the kids who play in the programs to get more out of it than playing basketball,” he said.
Through conversations with PC staff, the Egans realized how their donation could inspire others to think about helping students, specifically those from Aquidneck Island who might not have the financial ability to attend PC. Jackie said there is a misconception that Newport is a wealthy city. The family has been involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County and has seen firsthand how many prospective students have financial need.
“Aquidneck Island has been and will continue to be an important place for Providence College,” said Kevin P. Quirk, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees. “The investment from Bill and Jackie will help students from Aquidneck Island and across the country see that Providence College is the right fit for them, regardless of their financial situation.”
“Financial need is unending. Whether you do it now or later, it will never be enough,” said Bill. “An education gives you an opportunity to have more opportunities. We hope it inspires others to do this as well.”
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