A dedication ceremony was held in 2010 to name the renovated hall, formerly Old Science Hall. Romanaggi graduated from the University of Portland in 1956 and then earned his medical degree in 1960 from Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine.
His medical practice in Portland specialized in treatment of allergy, asthma, and immunology. In 1997, he retired from active practice after 31 years. While practicing medicine, he also was an associate professor of the volunteer teaching faculty at Oregon Health Sciences University.
He and his late wife Agnes, a 1959 University of Portland graduate, have been generous to the University over the years, most recently making a major gift to Romanaggi Hall. The gift helped fund new windows throughout, renovation of the third floor, roof improvements, the first thorough cleaning of its masonry in seventy years, construction of handicapped access venues and an elevator. The Romanaggis, who were married for almost 50 years, also made an estate planning gift to provide continued maintenance of the building.
Don Romanaggi was one of the first donors to the Rev. John Molter, C.S.C., Chair in Science, honoring the professor from whom he once earned a dollar. Molter had promised a dollar to any student who got an A in his science class, and those were rare dollars indeed.
He also contributed generously to the creation of Swindells Hall, the University’s second science hall, and established the Romanaggi Endowed Scholarship in Science which has directly helped 23 students since it began awarding in 1996-97.
In 2007-08 (again honoring a favorite and much-admired professor at the university), he established the Rev. Gregory Lombardo, C.S.C., Endowed Scholarship in Theology, which has since helped four students.
He has contributed to many other scholarship funds over the years, notably those celebrating the late Rev. Fred Barr, C.S.C., and Father Beauchamp.
Romanaggi has also been a generous donor to Pilot athletics and to the building of the Chiles Center. He has long been a member of the Pilot Club and has contributed to engineering efforts on The Bluff, particularly Shiley Hall.
A member of the Board of Regents since 1991, Romanaggi’s main focus has been the College of Arts and Sciences.
Romanaggi’s gift is part of the University’s RISE Campaign, which was announced in December 2010 and seeks to raise $175 million over the next several years. The RISE Campaign, which has raised more than $150 million to date, is one of the largest development campaigns ever for a Pacific Northwest private college or university.
The campaign’s goals are divided into four major themes, each with funding targets: (1) Pursuing academic excellence and faculty funding – $70 million; (2) Providing access for all students and direct assistance – $45 million; (3) Developing faith and leadership – $10 million; and (4) Enriching the campus community and physical resources – $50 million.