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Saint Peter’s University Announces Largest Gift in University History

JERSEY CITY, NJ – Saint Peter’s University has announced a historic gift of $10 million from Joseph A. Panepinto, Esq. ’66, president and chief executive officer of Jersey City-based Panepinto Properties and a member of the Saint Peter’s Board of Trustees. Panepinto’s generosity represents the single largest philanthropic gift in the near 150-year history of the university, further advancing the institution’s recent achievements, accolades, and dedication to its mission of Jesuit higher education. Panepinto has been a loyal donor to Saint Peter’s for more than 50 years and this latest gift, his largest philanthropic gift to any institution, is a catalyst for the university’s continued upward trajectory. The gift, which will dramatically advance the development of the West Campus and make quality Jesuit education more accessible to its growing student body, is a bold endorsement of the university’s vision for the future.

“We are incredibly grateful to Joe for this extraordinary gift and for his confidence in Saint Peter’s upward ascent,” says Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s University. “Throughout his career, Joe has maintained a commitment to his beginnings—in Jersey City and at Saint Peter’s. We take great pride in the unstoppable growth of Saint Peter’s and the city alike. There is no doubt that leaders like Joe have helped to make this mutual success possible.”

Panepinto is a Jersey City native who has dedicated himself to the rebirth of the city through his personal and professional endeavors and accomplishments. He began his career in 1971 as an aspiring criminal lawyer representing patients at a methadone clinic in Jersey City. His career path quickly changed when the co-founder of the clinic, Dr. Paul Jordan, was elected mayor, inviting Panepinto to serve as counsel on the city planning board. Exposure to the significance of real estate planning for strengthening the city’s future and its communities ultimately led to the founding of Panepinto Properties, an independently owned and operated real estate development company, which has been an anchor in Jersey City for more than 40 years.

“As a fellow Jersey City business owner with a long, personal history in the city, it is impressive and encouraging to see that the positive momentum of Saint Peter’s mirrors the boom of Jersey City,” says Frank L. Fekete, CPA ’75, managing partner of Mandel, Fekete & Bloom, CPAs and chair of the Board of Trustees for Saint Peter’s University. “Joe’s faith in the mission and his generosity are enabling the University to play a leading role in this revitalization.”

“As a native of Jersey City, it has long been my aim to help in the revitalization of this city. Some of the most important parts of our community are its charitable and nonprofit institutions. Education is certainly a very important one. Therefore, by supporting Saint Peter’s we are supporting the future growth of our community,” says Panepinto.

Panepinto’s gift underscores significant increases in philanthropic activity for Saint Peter’s University over the past decade, including the conclusion of Students at the Center: The Campaign for Saint Peter’s University, which raised more than $64 million and built the Mac Mahon Student Center named for lead donor Thomas P. Mac Mahon ’68.

 Saint Peter’s University, inspired by its Jesuit Catholic identity, commitment to individual attention and grounding in the liberal arts, educates a diverse community of learners in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional programs to excel intellectually, lead ethically, serve compassionately and promote justice in our ever-changing urban and global environment. To learn more, please visit