A Lingering Legacy

The late Daniel (Dan) F. Mulvihill


The USD School of Business’ real estate program owes its very existence to Daniel (Dan) F. Mulvihill’s vision, drive and his belief in its value. He passed away on July 1 and is survived by his loving wife Mary, six children and 12 grandchildren.

As one of the leaders of America’s commercial mortgage banking industry, Mulvihill served a term as honorary treasurer of the industry’s national trade group, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA), in Washington, D.C. His term as treasurer provided an opportunity for Dan to work closely with Mark J. Riedy, former executive director of the MBA from 1978 through 1985. In the spring of 1992, Dan recruited Riedy to build a real estate program at USD.

At Mulvihill’s invitation, Riedy visited San Diego and accompanied him to meetings with James Burns, former dean of the USD School of Business, and former USD President Author E. Hughes. Together, the pair shared their vision for a comprehensive real estate program, starting at the undergraduate level, with a graduate program to follow.

Based on their respect for Mulvihill and his endorsement of Riedy as the person capable of building an outstanding real estate program, the concept of bringing the program to life was approved. The first classes began in fall 1993.

Within five minutes of gaining President Hughes’ approval, Mulvihill quietly provided the first of his many significant gifts to support the program. He also chaired a fundraising committee composed of national, regional and local industry and civic leaders, which raised $1.5 million to create the Ernest W. Hahn Endowed Chair in Real Estate Finance within the USD School of Business. Riedy held the Hahn Chair throughout his more than 20 years leading the real estate program at USD, a title which Norm Miller presently holds.

For his extraordinary faith in and support for values-based real estate education, firmly grounded in practical applications and close relationships with industry professionals, USD took the uncommon step of honoring Mulvihill with a fully endowed professorship more than a decade ago.

Since the real estate program was launched in 1993, it has grown rapidly, supported strongly by the real estate industry and the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate. The program now includes a Master of Science in Real Estate, launched in 2004, and dual degree programs in law and business.

Because of Dan Mulvihill’s willingness to take a leadership stance, to build a case, communicate well and be a constant supporter of the program and of the real estate students — both inspirationally and via his checkbook) — he made a tremendous impact on USD, the real estate community in San Diego, and the futures of many, many students. That is his legacy.

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