‘Pinky’ lasts in memory at the U

Richard McNamara dies after donating millions since 1956.

Megan Nicolai

Richard âÄúPinkyâÄù McNamara, a long-time donor and fundraiser for the University and a former Regent, passed away Monday. He was 78 years old.

Originally from Hastings, Minn., McNamara attended the University on a football scholarship and was a three-year letter-winner for the Gophers. He graduated with a BachelorâÄôs degree in 1956 and began a successful business career.

Determined to share his success, McNamara donated $3 million in 1992 to the College of Liberal Arts and another $10 million in 1998 to the University. Of that donation, $3 million was used to build the McNamara Alumni Center, which was named in his honor.

McNamara and his brother Bob were also deeply involved in fundraising for the construction of TCF Bank Stadium.

âÄúThere are few families whose name is more identified with Gopher Athletics than the McNamaras,âÄù Director of Athletics Joel Maturi said in a statement.

âÄúHe befriended me personally on the day I arrived at the University of Minnesota, and we developed a relationship and a friendship that was important to me and itâÄôs one that I will miss.âÄù

McNamara served on the UniversityâÄôs Board of Regents from 2001 to 2005.

His funeral is scheduled for May 31.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report.