A Statement from President Gormley on the Passing of John G. Rangos, Sr.

This week, our community and our world suffered a great loss with the passing of John G. Rangos, Sr., a singularly visionary and generous friend to Duquesne. On Wednesday, July 21, at the age of 91, Mr. Rangos died peacefully surrounded by family.

Mr. Rangos' vision, compassion and generous heart improved the lives and futures of generations of people in this region and around the world. Although he never attended Duquesne, Mr. Rangos was a towering figure in the life of our campus. Deeply committed to the University's mission of serving God by serving students so that they (in turn) could serve others, he encouraged me to think big and provided invaluable advice, always reminding me that the future of our society and our democratic republic hinged on the engagement of our students and graduates, who would carry forth the banner as tomorrow's leaders. I trusted his thinking, was grateful for his generosity, and treasured his friendship.   

It is not an overstatement to say that John Rangos, Sr. was one of the great philanthropists and visionaries in the history of Pittsburgh. Like Andrew Carnegie and other benefactors who helped to forge the identity of this great region, Mr. Rangos has left behind a shining, indelible imprint that will shape this place he called home long after we're gone. We were fortunate that God gave us this gift. I will miss him terribly, but I will forever be grateful that he was a mentor and friend.  

As many know, Mr. Rangos was an integral part of the Duquesne University family. Mr. Rangos was the founding donor of the University's Rangos School of Health Sciences, which has trained and educated thousands of health professionals since its beginning in 1990.  

A multimillion dollar donor, Mr. Rangos was dedicated to helping Duquesne faculty and students reach bigger goals. In 2004, he established the Anna Rangos Rizakus Endowed Chair in Health Sciences & Ethics to honor the memory and legacy of his mother.   

He was also committed to promoting opportunity for underserved students in the region. The John G. Rangos, Sr. Endowed and Term Scholarships, both established in 2015, ensure that 50 percent of the gift proceeds are used to provide educational opportunities for African American students enrolled in the Rangos School.   

Mr. Rangos also looked out for those students who ran into financial trouble while trying to finish the professional phase of their studies, offering scholarships that provided funding to help students complete their degrees.   

Mr. Rangos' gifts to Duquesne went beyond traditional funding avenues. For example, he and I worked together create and launch the Rangos Prizes, a competition designed to find creative pathways to help people learn and solve problems. The competition has been a huge success from the moment it launched in 2019, inspiring students and faculty to work to enhance the our curriculum, ensuring that it remains relevant and prepares students for productive futures.  

While Mr. Rangos' influence already has been felt on campus for decades, one of his latest gifts promises to have an additional impact well into the future. Understanding the importance of training highly competent, compassionate and dedicated primary care doctors, Mr. Rangos became interested in Duquesne's newest initiative anchored to our mission. The Rangos Family Virtual Anatomy Lab, a cutting-edge facility to be used to train the next generation of medical doctors, will be part of Duquesne's College of Osteopathic Medicine, scheduled to open in fall 2024.  

A role model for our students and graduates, the University awarded Mr. Rangos an honorary doctorate in health sciences in 2000, when he also served as the University commencement speaker. He later was the speaker at the Rangos School of Health Sciences commencement in 2014.   

I know that many of you know John G. Rangos Sr. perhaps only by name, but his legacy is a benefit to all of us and the generations of Duquesne students, faculty and alumni to come. We have been fortunate to have been blessed by his generosity and friendship. We will keep him, forever, in our hearts and prayers.  

Sincerely,

President Ken Gormley

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

It's time for bigger goals
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