Arlington, VA – Marymount University has received a naming gift for one of its four academic Schools – a milestone in the University’s 61-year history.
Marlene A. and Frederic V. Malek have made a significant leadership gift to Marymount’s Campaign for Excellence and Distinction. Their contribution, the largest received by the campaign, includes an endowment for Marymount’s School of Health Professions, which will be named the Malek School of Health Professions in their honor. The Maleks are well known as leaders in their community and on the Washington, DC, political and cultural scene. Deeply committed to higher education and advances in health care, they are longtime friends and supporters of Marymount University.
Mrs. Malek, a community activist and health care advocate, is president of Friends of Cancer Research, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness and provides public education on cancer research. She earned her Nursing degree at Marymount in 1979 and has been committed to supporting cancer research ever since. Mrs. Malek serves on the Board of the Duke University Cancer Center and is a member of the Cancer Leadership Council at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; a trustee of the MD Anderson Comprehensive Cancer Center in Houston, Texas; and an appointed member of C-Change (formerly the National Dialogue on Cancer). A member of Marymount University’s Board of Trustees since 1984, she currently serves as the board’s vice chair.
Mr. Malek is founder and chairman of Thayer Lodging Group, a private equity firm, and founder and chairman of Thayer Capital Partners. He has also served as president and CEO of Marriott Hotels and Northwest Airlines. In addition, Mr. Malek was an advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush, serving in a variety of capacities. He was also the national finance chairman for the 2008 McCain presidential campaign. A graduate of West Point and the Harvard Business School, Mr. Malek is the 2011 chairman of the Board of Visitors of West Point.
Marlene and Fred Malek have received numerous awards, including the Corporate Citizens of the Year Award from the Wilson Center for Scholars. At Marymount’s recent Commencement ceremonies, they were presented with the University’s highest honor, The Majella Berg Medal, in recognition of their lives of leadership and service.
One-sixth of Marymount’s students – nearly 600 men and women – are enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate programs offered through the Malek School of Health Professions. The School offers Marymount’s only doctoral programs, the clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Nursing Practice.
The Malek School is located in Caruthers Hall, Marymount University’s new, high-tech academic building, which opened in January 2011. In addition to classrooms and faculty offices, the building houses nine science teaching labs; five science research labs; and five health-science teaching labs, including the William Randolph Hearst Nursing Laboratory, which simulates an acute-care hospital setting.
The naming gift will fund a number of special programs to benefit students, faculty, and the wider community. Plans include a Malek Professorship, which will support a faculty member’s discipline-specific research and professional travel, and an annual Malek Lecture in the Health Professions, which will bring distinguished health care leaders to campus to discuss timely issues in the field.
Mrs. Malek says, “There is a huge and growing need across the country and in our area for individuals skilled in, and devoted to, nursing and physical therapy. Fred and I are honored to play a small role in the further development of Marymount University’s excellent School of Health Professions, which works to meet this need every day.”
Dr. Tess Cappello, dean of the Malek School of Health Professions, adds, “This gift will have a tremendous impact on our School! The resources it provides will strengthen our programs and offer our students and faculty important new opportunities for professional development.”
The goal of Marymount’s comprehensive Campaign for Excellence and Distinction was $20 million. The campaign has now raised more than $22.7 million to help fund construction initiatives, scholarships, and other strategic priorities of the University.
Marymount President James E. Bundschuh notes, “We are so grateful for the friendship and generosity of Marlene and Fred Malek. The Maleks are committed to improving the quality of life through advances in education and health care. Marymount University is privileged to partner with them in this endeavor.”