|An Expert Investment
Most people know the three things to look for when purchasing real estate: location, location, and location. Real estate securities investor David P. O'Connor '86 provided ample moral support when President William P. Leahy, S.J., was considering acquiring the 43 acres of land and five buildings across Commonwealth Avenue that belonged to the Archdiocese of Boston. The property's proximity to the Boston College campus and the University's need for space made the purchase a wise course of action in the mind of O'Connor, a member of BC's Wall Street Executive Council and cochair of his class's 20th reunion gift committee.
After the purchase was finalized in June 2004, O'Connor made a major gift pledge to Boston College and designated 90 percent of it for the land purchase. "I was a huge supporter of this acquisition, and I realized that I had better put my money where my mouth is," says O'Connor.
The remaining 10 percent of O'Connor's gift will support athletics, and an office in the new Yawkey Athletics Center has been named in honor Stephen Lauble '86, O'Connor's late college roommate.
The land purchase is one of the largest acquisitions in BC's history, second only to the 1949 purchase of a 52.7-acre reservoir, where the Lower Campus now sits.
As president and managing partner of High Rise Capital Management in New York City, O'connor manages $700 million in real estate holdings. The New Jersey native, who grew up in modest circumstances, attributes much of his success to his BC experience. "Over time, I realized that BC has touched every aspect of my life," he says of his motivation to give back. "BC has the potential to be universally acknowledged as the top Catholic university in the country." With this significant gift, O'Connor is, clearly, helping to push BC to that height.