GMU biz school receives $50M bequest
Late Loudoun businessman left largest individual gift in GMU history
George Mason University’s School of Business will be renamed for the late Donald G. Costello, a Loudoun County native and business owner who left the university $50 million in his will, GMU announced last week. The donation is the university’s largest individual gift in its 50-year history.
Costello, who died in 2017 at the age of 75, was born in Leesburg and in 1976 co-founded Haymarket-based Century Stair Co., which became the East Coast’s largest stair manufacturer. The gift will establish the Donald G. Costello School of Business, and establishes an endowment for undergraduate and graduate scholarships for business students. According to GMU, the school will officially adopt its new name later this year.
The Donald G. Costello Trust’s donation was announced April 27 at the launch of GMU’s $1 billion Mason Now fundraising campaign.
“It is fitting that we announce this transformational gift at the launch of the Mason Now campaign,” said GMU President Gregory Washington. “As the most innovative university in Virginia, Mason leads the way in creating new academic programs to meet the evolving needs of the 21st-century economy. Mr. Costello’s success is a testament to his hard work, tenacity, and steadfastness — the same qualities we seek to instill in our students.”
Costello, who graduated from Loudoun County High School, joined the Army before co-founding his business with Joseph Contrucci, who is serving as executor and trustee of Costello’s trust.
“Don and I have always seen George Mason University and its School of Business as a catalyst in fueling the Northern Virginia economy,” Contrucci said in a statement. “This gift will further that impact by creating career opportunities and new businesses for decades to come.”