Notre Dame de Namur Announces
New $500K Gift from Sobrato Family

Total donation will help fund renovation of historic Ralston Hall and construction of Sobrato Family Student Learning Commons

For Immediate Release (4/3/2017)

Belmont, Calif.—Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) announced today that John A. and Susan Sobrato will be donating an additional $500,000 toward the renovation of historic Ralston Hall and the founding of a Sobrato Family Learning Commons in the rebuilt structure. This is a second capstone gift from the Sobrato family for the renovation campaign.

John and Susan Sobrato
John and Susan Sobrato

“John A. and Susan Sobrato have been guardian angels during this crucial effort to save Ralston Hall, one of the Bay Area’s architectural gems and the heart of our campus,” said President Judith Greig of Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU). “We are grateful for their generous gift to create a student learning commons on the third floor of the rebuilt mansion that will benefit generations of students.”

The Sobrato Center for Nonprofits in Redwood City has also provided office space for NDNU offices that have been displaced during the renovations.

“Susan and I are delighted to contribute to the campaign for Ralston Hall,” said John A. Sobrato. “We are particularly pleased that this recent gift will go towards a state-of-the-art learning commons for students at Notre Dame de Namur University.”

“The Sobrato family’s donations have played a key role in the effort to renovate this magnificent landmark built in 1868,” said the Hon. Tad Taube, former NDNU trustee and chair of the Campaign to Save Ralston Hall. “John and Susan’s contributions are pivotal to helping us break ground this year on the construction.”

To honor the Sobrato family for their support of the university, NDNU has now created a new Sobrato Family Philanthropic Society among its Lifetime Giving Societies for donors whose cumulative gifts total $2.5 to $5 million.


Notre Dame de Namur University is a Catholic, not-for-profit, coeducational institution serving approximately 1,700 traditional-aged and adult students from diverse backgrounds. Established in 1851 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NDNU maintains a strong commitment to access for diverse populations, academic excellence, social justice and community engagement. The university is fully accredited and offers a rich variety of undergraduate, graduate and credential programs. The historic, 50-acre campus is located on the San Francisco Peninsula in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit


Dino M. Hernandez, Vice President for Advancement
Notre Dame de Namur University
(650) 508-3512