The renovated Hesburgh Library auditorium has been renamed for William J. Carey ’46 of Dallas, whose $16 million benefaction, received last year, stands as the largest estate gift in Notre Dame history.
Half of the Carey gift is being used to help finance a long-term renovation of the library, beginning with the basement. Other portions of the benefaction have been used to establish a scholarship fund in his memory and to assist the Erasmus Institute, which sponsors scholarship grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition.
A native of Boston and the son of a Boston policeman, Carey made his fortune in the oil, mining and agriculture industries. His Notre Dame career was interrupted by service in the Army during World War II. He later added a law degree from Columbia University and a master’s from Harvard’s business school. He died in 1997.