Kathleen Lagorio Janssen (right), chair of the Board of Regents, presented a resolution from the Board honoring Vice President Patrick Cavanaugh's 17 years of service to University of the Pacific

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Vice President Patrick Cavanaugh to retire

The University community honored its CFO and recognized the accomplishments of his 17-year tenure during a reception on May 1
May 5, 2014

Patrick Cavanaugh, who steered University of the Pacific to unprecedented fiscal strength during his 17 years as vice president for business and finance, will retire after the Stockton graduation ceremony on May 10.

"He has touched this university and its people in such a deep and long-lasting way," President Pamela A. Eibeck said at a campus-wide reception for Cavanaugh on Thursday afternoon.

"You have been our pillar," Eibeck said.

Under Cavanaugh's leadership, Pacific's net assets increased from $185 million at the end of FY 1997 to $616 million at the end of FY 2013, an increase of 234 percent; its endowment swelled from $70 million to its current level of $370 million; and its bond rating climbed from baa2 to A2.

Cavanaugh orchestrated the complex real estate deal that gave rise to the new nearly 400,000 square foot San Francisco campus at 155 Fifth St.— the largest real estate investment since the University's move to Stockton in 1924— and oversaw numerous renovations and expansions along with the planning and construction of important buildings that transformed the Stockton campus, including the biological sciences center, the Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium, the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center, the Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center and clinics building, the John T. Chambers Technology Center and both Monagan and Brookside halls student apartments. Overall, he added some 12 acres of new or renovated floor space to the Stockton campus, and improved 50 acres of open space. He also bolstered the retirement savings program for faculty and staff and, with his wife Janita, endowed the Cavanaugh Distinguished Services Award, which annually recognizes employees for outstanding service on each of the University's three campuses.

Patrick and Janita CavanaughCavanaugh's farewell reception was held in one of the signature buildings, the DeRosa University Center, which at its completion in 2008 became the institution's first LEED-certified building. Several hundred people packed the center's ballroom to pay tribute to Cavanaugh, and more than a dozen speakers attested to his financial and management acumen, integrity, outspokenness, wit, and devotion to Pacific. Speakers included his wife, Janita, daughter, Ann '01, and lifelong friend Dave Blaskovich whom Cavanaugh has known since third grade.

Former university President Donald V. DeRosa and former Provost Philip Gilbertson also took the stage, and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, in whose administration Cavanaugh served for many years, offered greetings and congratulations in video remarks shown on a giant screen in the ballroom. Board of Regents Chair Kathleen Lagorio Janssen, Dean Phillip Oppenheimer of the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and retired engineering Professor Dave Fletcher gave remarks as well. Bank of Stockton President, university benefactor and former regent Douglass Eberhardt '59 and his wife, Margaret '60, were in the audience.

Remarks covered Cavanaugh's childhood in rural Lohrville, Iowa; his education at Grinnell College, MBA from Drake University and JD from the University of Iowa; posts in Iowa state government, including directorships of the Beer and Liquor Control Department, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Management; as well as his career in higher education at Drake University and University of the Pacific.

DeRosa, who hired Cavanaugh away from Drake University in 1997, noted the executive's emphasis on customer service, transparency and shrewdness.

"He has been a champion for the students, faculty and staff of this university, and they will benefit from it in perpetuity," DeRosa said.

Gilbertson commented on Cavanaugh's "tough-minded humility," respect for "the academic side of the house," and gift for repartee.

"Pat has made Pacific history," said Gilbertson, who is completing a book on the history of the University. "He redefined the role of vice president for business and finance" and "reshaped how we do business."

"All of us at Pacific have grateful hearts for your remarkable accomplishments," Gilbertson said.  

Cavanaugh farewell reception

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