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DeSales University Announces New Kathleen Waterbury and J.B. Reilly School of Business

by Janelle Hill M’23 May 1, 2024

A transformative gift from Kathleen Waterbury and J.B. Reilly is paving the way for a new era of education at DeSales University. 

The gift, the largest in the University’s history, will help to establish the new Kathleen Waterbury and J.B. Reilly School of Business, slated to open in the upcoming 2024-2025 academic year.

“As parents, we know that education has the power to change lives and communities. And as longtime members of the DeSales community, we know how important this University is to higher education in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. We are proud and excited to lay the foundation for the Reilly School of Business and to empower the next generation of business leaders to inspire innovation, promote ethical leadership, and advance corporate-community relationships.” 

 Kathleen Waterbury and J.B. Reilly

Kathleen is a current member of the University’s Board of Trustees, a position she has held since 2020. Her husband previously served as a Board member from 2002 to 2012. J.B. is also president and cofounder of City Center Group, a real estate development and management company based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. 

The Reilly School of Business is part of a larger transition of DeSales’ academic structure from divisions to a four-college/school model. Under this new model, the University will also launch:

  • A College of Arts, Education, and Humanities, which will comprise a School of Education and a School of Performing Arts.
  • A College of Sciences.
  • A College of Healthcare Professions with a designated School of Nursing. 

The change is a result of the University’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, Connecting to Our Future, which outlines avenues for future growth, advancing academic excellence, enhancing the student experience, and developing new external partnerships.