The University of Portland community is mourning the loss of Mary Candida Garaventa, who passed away peacefully at age 91 in Concord, Calif., on June 29. Funeral Liturgy was set for Friday, July 10, in Concord.
The Garaventa family has long been a benefactor of UP and Catholic higher education. The association of Mary and Silvio Garaventa with the University began in 1967 when their son, Silvio, Jr. ’71 enrolled on The Bluff. The family members became close friends with then-president Rev. Paul Waldschmidt, C.S.C. Subsequently, two more of their children, Marie Adler ’73 and Joseph Garaventa ’81, ’84 M.B.A. attended the University. Adler continued her association with UP with her participation in the advisory council for the School of Education, and Joseph Garaventa is still remembered as a record-setting goalkeeper for the University soccer team.
As part of the University’s Centennial Campaign, the Garaventa family was the main benefactor for the renovation of the University’s administrative building, Waldschmidt Hall, and were also key supporters for construction of the Earle A. Chiles Center and Harry A. Merlo Field.
After the death of Silvio Garaventa in February 1998, the family honored his legacy and their deep commitment to their Catholic heritage with a gift to establish the Garaventa Center for Catholic Intellectual Life and American Culture. The Center was dedicated on June 2, 2005 at the opening of the inaugural Garaventa Conference, “Teaching, Faith, and Service: The Foundation of Freedom.” The Honorable John T. Noonan, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit presented the first Garaventa Lecture.
Mary Garaventa is survived by her five children: Silvio Garaventa, Jr., Cookie Garaventa Adler, Louisa Garaventa Binswanger, Joseph Garaventa, and Linda Garaventa Colvis. Our prayers and condolences to the family.