Notre Dame Denied $8.2 Million In Donor Protest

Alumni Coalition Calls For New University President

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DEARBORN, Michigan, APRIL 27, 2009 ( A Notre Dame alumni coalition verified that donors have pledged to withhold $8.2 million from the university in protest of the school’s decision to honor President Barack Obama.

The coalition launched the national outreach effort one week ago, appealing to alumni and benefactors to hold back donations until the university’s president, Father John Jenkins, is replaced.

In a press release today, the group, called «Replace Jenkins,» reported that over 900 pledges have been sent online with the promise of canceling payments to the school, including notifications from donors who removed large estate bequests to the university from their wills.

The coalition statement reported that campaign organizers have «personally confirmed a majority of the largest donations, and continue to verify the validity of millions of additional gifts.»

David DiFranco, the group’s spokesperson, said: «We knew many donors and alums were unhappy with the decision to honor a pro-abortion president, but we never expected this large of a response.»

He affirmed that the «process of verifying the largest donors has been carefully conducted.»

DiFranco explained: «We dismissed the obvious bogus submissions, and are not counting a huge number of larger donations that we are still in the process of verifying. 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.»

He predicted, «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.»

The coalition is calling for a new leader for the university, «who is committed to the authentic identity of Notre Dame, grounded in the teachings of the Catholic Church.»

DiFranco affirmed: «The fact that this effort is necessary is unfortunate.  

«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.'»

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