Santa Clara University

The Leavey Challenge for Santa Clara University

The Leavey Foundation

The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation got its start in 1952. In addition to medical and religious institutions, the husband and wife philanthropy team made education a priority for their giving. Santa Clara University's business school and activities center bear the Leavey name, and Leavey buildings can be found on the campuses of Georgetown, Loyola Marymount University, and the University of Southern California.

For Thomas E. Leavey '22, his connection to Santa Clara and its ideals runs even deeper. Leavey would spend a lifetime exemplifying the principles of the Jesuit education he experienced on the Mission Campus. Following his graduation, Leavey served briefly for the Army during the very end of World War I. He then completed a law degree at Georgetown University.


The husband and wife philanthropy team made education a priority for their giving. Santa Clara University's business school and activities center bear the Leavey name.

In 1928, Leavey co-founded Farmers Insurance on the premise of a fair deal. He concluded that rural customers should pay less for insurance since they encountered fewer risks than other drivers. With this insight as a starting point, Farmers weathered the Great Depression, and grew into one of the largest insurers in the U.S.

After 60 years of operation by the Leavey family, the Leavey Foundation continues to support organizations that are both capable of making an impact on the world and important to the ideals of Thomas and Dorothy.

"The Leavey Foundation has a long meaningful relationship with Santa Clara." Kathleen McCarthy, head of the Leavey Foundation Board said. 

Regarding the Leavey Challenge, McCarthy added, "The Foundation knows that consistent financial giving by an increasing percentage of alumni speaks effectively to those looking at the University from outside who possess the ability to help—and it becomes contagious among alumni over time."

Give Now - Rise to the Leavey Challenge

Lucas Hall @ Leavey School of Business
Lucas Hall @ Leavey School of Business