Organizers of a website encouraging University of Notre Dame alumni and donors to withhold donations until its president is replaced say they have confirmed over $8.2 million dollars have been withheld as part of their efforts. The group describes the figure as “very conservative.”
ReplaceJenkins.com aims to encourage donors to withhold donations to the university until its president, Rev. John Jenkins, CSC, is replaced.
A press release from ReplaceJenkins.com says the site has received over 900 pledges from alumni and donors promising to withhold future donations. Several of the largest gifts include estate bequests to the university that have been removed from donors’ wills.
The site was organized by Notre Dame alumni and financial supporters who opposed the invitation of President Barack Obama as commencement speaker and honorary law degree recipient because of his support for abortion.
David DiFranco, a 1995 graduate of Notre Dame and ReplaceJenkins.com spokesman, said the organization knew many people were unhappy with the decision to honor President Obama, but “never expected this large of a response.”
“We can hardly keep up, and this is only the beginning. We can only imagine what fundraisers at the University are experiencing, but understandably not reporting.”
DiFranco reported that the website’s verification of large donors’ withholdings has been “carefully conducted.”
“We are speaking directly with donors, and in several cases we have spoken with estate attorneys to confirm that Notre Dame has been stripped from a donor’s will. We are going about this process with a critical eye in order that that the numbers we report are accurate.
“For that reason, the $8.2 million we are reporting today is actually very conservative.
“As momentum continues to build, we are now certain that the financial penalty, resulting from the decision to honor the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history, will be enormous,” DiFranco said.
“The fact that this effort is necessary is unfortunate,” DiFranco added. “However, alumni and supporters of Notre Dame have little other recourse than to protest with their pocketbooks. We will continue our efforts as long as it is necessary to bring about positive change at Notre Dame that will honor ‘Our Lady’s’ University.”