Maryanne Trump Barry, a judge on the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, detailed her donation to Fairfield University Wednesday at a press conference. A large portion of the money will fund the Center for Ignatian Spirituality.
Referring to Fr. Jeffrey von Arx, president of Fairfield, she commented, “I believe that, in founding the Center for Ignatian Spirituality in 2014, Fr. von Arx has assured that Ignatian spirituality will guide those at Fairfield and even worldwide, who seek the gift it so uniquely can provide, while it continues to inform and influence the environment of learning at Fairfield.”
The donation will also fund scholarships for those studying at the Center for Ignatian Spirituality. An official video from the Center offers a testimony from one woman who says ,”It wasn’t limited to Catholicism. I felt it was a broader belief.”
Father von Arx, remarking on the donation, said, “The scholarships make possible the dreams of many worthy young men and women, and the Center will help meet the needs of today’s world, while renewing the formative prayer tradition at the heart of the mission of the Society of Jesus.”
Barry caught national attention earlier this year when then-Republican nominee Ted Cruz called her a “radical pro-abortion extremist.” She was appointed to the federal bench by Bill Clinton, and in 2000 she helped strike down a New Jersey law that would have banned partial-birth abortions.
Barry was awarded an honorary doctorate from Fairfield in 2011 and credits the Society of Jesus with “quite literally saving my life.”