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Waites Endow Chair to Bring Visiting Jesuit Scholars to Creighton

Creighton University will inaugurate the Anna and Donald Waite Endowed Chair in Jesuit Education at 4 p.m., April 7, in the Ahmanson Ballroom of the Mike and Josie Harper Center for Student Life and Learning on campus. The endowed chair, which is funded by 1954 graduate Donald Waite and his wife, Anna, will bring Jesuit scholars and researchers from other universities to Creighton to support the University’s vibrant Jesuit heritage.

The Waites have been ardent Creighton supporters for many years. In 2001, they established the Anna Tyler Waite Center for Leadership and the Waite Leadership Scholarship in Creighton’s College of Business. The program is a four-year leadership development program for business students. In 2009, Don Waite received the Alumni Achievement Citation, the highest honor an alumnus can receive from Creighton University.

“The Waites understand the value of higher education rooted in Jesuit values and Catholic teachings and the importance of preserving and enhancing the Jesuit presence. Their generous support will impact students for generations to come,” said the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J., Creighton University president.

Waite graduated from Creighton’s College of Business Administration in 1954 and attended Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where he met Anna. The Waites have been married for more than 50 years and have five children. Following his graduation from Georgetown in 1959, Don worked for more than 50 years in finance, accounting, operations, legal and administrative functions, while Anna worked as a home maker for their family of seven. Waite is currently a business consultant to Seagate Technology, Inc., the world’s largest disc drive manufacturing company.

Waite credits much of his personal and professional success to his wife, his Jesuit education at Creighton and believes his college years greatly influenced his approach to leadership.

“Leadership is the key to success in every endeavor, and Creighton promotes ethical leadership in every aspect of our lives. I will be forever indebted to the faculty, both lay and Jesuit, the entire Jesuit community and my fellow students,” Waite said.

The Rev. Melvil Pereira, S.J., a Senior Visiting Fellow from New Delhi, India, will speak at the ceremony. Fr. Pereira holds a doctorate in political science from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is a member of the Kohima Jesuits, who are active in sustainable development, legal advocacy and forest preservation to protect the livelihoods of indigenous people. He will be in Omaha until June 2011.