For Immediate Release: August 4, 2015
Providence, R.I. – Providence College announced today a $1.3 million pledge by Dr. Kevin C. O’Kane, a resident of Hyannis, Mass. and a professor emeritus of computer science at the University of Northern Iowa, for full tuition scholarships to be awarded to PC students studying computer science, chemistry, or physics.
O’Kane made the College the 100 percent beneficiary of his retirement plan because of the College’s faithfulness to its Catholic and Dominican mission.
“I wanted to give the money to a place that had made a commitment to the Catholic faith and was planning to keep it,” said O’Kane. “That made a big difference to me.”
After a career teaching at state universities in Alabama, Tennessee, and Ohio, in addition to Iowa, O’Kane retired in 2013 and moved back to his family home on Cape Cod, Mass. The question arose: What to do with his retirement account? He was single with no children. His parents were deceased. He owed no money on his house.
O’Kane had never been on the PC campus, though his father, the late Charles O’Kane, was a student at PC in the 1920s before transferring to Georgetown University, and his late uncle, Richard O’Kane ’30, studied at PC before law school. O’Kane decided to visit quietly on his own in the fall of 2014 to see the College for himself.
“The visit impressed me a great deal,” said O’Kane. “I saw the crucifix everywhere. There was never a place I went where I wasn’t aware that I was on a Catholic campus.”
“We are humbled by Dr. O’Kane’s selection of Providence College as the beneficiary of this generous gift,” said College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ‘80. “He has identified and eloquently described the unique characteristics of the Providence College experience, rooted in the principles and ideals that align so nicely with his own, and his gift will have a meaningful, lasting impact on the College and its students. We are grateful beyond words.”