Oct 9, 2014, 9:11 AM EDT
The lead-up to Notre Dame’s showdown against Stanford was a particularly busy time on campus, as both the Monogram Club’s Board of Directors and the University’s Board of Trustees hosted their fall meetings.
At the conclusion of the Committee on Athletic Affairs meeting last Wednesday, the Monogram Club had the opportunity to recognize one alumnus for his outstanding leadership and his contributions to the University and athletics department, introducing Philip J. Purcell III (’65) as the Club’s newest honorary recipient.
A member of the Board of Trustees since 1991, Purcell is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley. He was introduced by University Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick (’76), who commented on the guidance and counsel Purcell had provided as chair of the Committee on Athletic Affairs.
Swarbrick noted the impact Purcell had in helping Notre Dame navigate through conference realignment, apparel contracts, and a host of other significant challenges.
With a lifetime of recognitions and awards, Purcell, the 283rd honorary recipient in the 98-year history of the Club, was nevertheless incredibly humble and honored to receive the surprise Monogram, expressing that he would wear the jacket with great pride.
Also in attendance were Monogram Club President Haley Scott DeMaria (’95, swimming), Executive Director Brant Ust (’00, baseball) and head basketball coaches (and honorary Monogram recipients) Muffet McGraw and Mike Brey. Purcell’s son, Paul, and granddaughter, Caroline, a freshman at Notre Dame, also had the opportunity to join for the presentation.
Purcell’s ties to Irish basketball run deep, as his leadership gift helped fund a Joyce Center renovation that began in 2008. Now known as Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, the arena has been a gamechanger for the Notre Dame basketball and volleyball programs.
Both McGraw and Brey echoed similar sentiments about the home court advantage of the new and improved arena, and how much it has contributed to helping build their respective programs.
A 1965 graduate of Notre Dame, Purcell holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago and a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics. He served as chairman and chief executive officer of Dean Witter, Discover & Co. from 1986 until the company’s acquisition of Morgan Stanley Group Inc. in 1997. In 2006, he founded Continental Investors LLC, a private equity firm based in Chicago.
The Monogram Club is comprised of more than 8,000 individuals who have earned the University’s varsity athletic insignia for their athletic or team support endeavors or who have been recognized as honorary recipients. Honorary recipients include former Notre Dame coaches, influential members of the athletics department and individuals who have made an unparalleled contribution to the betterment of the athletics department.