Giving Back: Patrick Dunican '91, Exemplifies the Seton Hall Law Values of Integrity, Loyalty and Engagement
President Ronald Reagan once said, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He or she is the one that gets people to do the greatest things.” This quote embodies Patrick Dunican ’91, who inspires the Seton Hall Law community through his leadership, generosity, and commitment to hiring Seton Hall Law graduates. Patrick stands for excellence, whether it be the Gibbons firm, Seton Hall Law, or his alma mater, Iona College. Dunican has been the Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons P.C. since 2004, developing the firm into a national model of corporate and legal management. He is one of the most respected business and commercial litigators in the metropolitan area. Dunican made his mark on Seton Hall Law as a law student, and continues to have impact as a leader of the bar and business community. Dunican served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Seton Hall Law Review as a student, and last Spring sponsored the first annual Law Review reunion at the Law School. Dunican is a past Chair of the Seton Hall Law Board of Visitors, and continues to serve on the BOV executive committee. He co-chaired the Law School’s last capital campaign, facilitating a $1 million endowment from his firm to create the Gibbons Institute of Law, Science and Technology.
Dunican invests his personal resources as well -- The Dunican Family Dean’s Suite acknowledges he and his wife Christina’s most recent generosity to the Law School. Gibbons’ lawyers follow his example, speaking at frequent Law School events and classes, and sponsoring innumerable programs. Our lives are enriched by his dedication. Dunican has never felt comfortable just sitting on the sidelines. He has always been passionate about getting involved and making a difference, knowing that others did so to inspire him.
This commitment to altruism also extends beyond the scope of Seton Hall Law. Dunican was appointed to be the Chair of the Iona College Board of Trustees on May 6, 2020. Dunican received his B.A. from Iona in 1988. Prior to this appointment, he served in various capacities on Iona’s Board of Trustees, including Vice Chair of the Executive Committee and member of its Academic Committee and Committee on Trustees/Governance. He also chaired the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee. He helped spearhead the 25th Reunion of the Class of 1988. Iona has honored him with several awards, most notably the 2013 Legacy Award. The same commitment to inspire the Seton Hall Law community drives him to model Iona’s values of inclusion, opportunity, nimbleness, and accountability to inspire Iona students to achieve excellence. We caught up with Dunican to learn more about his appointment as Chair of the Iona College Board of Trustees.
What are your goals and vision as Chair of the Iona College Board of Trustees?
One goal is to elevate Iona’s academic profile by raising the baseline grade point average and SAT score we seek from admitted students, thus attracting higher quality students. I also will work to expand undergraduate class size through the addition of new programs, such as nursing and health sciences.
What is the biggest challenge this year?
Certainly, in 2020, our biggest challenge has been to give students the very best college experience despite the obstacles created by the COVID-19 health pandemic.
Is there a memorable accomplishment you have achieved since your appointment?
I was part of the team involved in bringing Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Pitino to Iona to coach the men’s basketball team.
What can you draw upon from your service to Seton Hall Law that will help you in this position?
I’ve learned to give all members of the board the opportunity to express their points of view, thereby encouraging robust dialog that will allow us to synthesize these many points of view to reach the best possible outcome.
“This appointment validates what is already known about Patrick’s commitment to higher education, and more specifically to the institutions that have created opportunities for his transformational talents to shine,” says Dean Kathleen Boozang. “He exemplifies the Seton Hall Law values of integrity, loyalty and engagement. His tireless work is an example to our students and alums of the power of being a Seton Hall Lawyer and the responsibility it bears to give back. As important, Patrick is a great friend, for which I am grateful.”
The immense impact he has made and continues to make on Iona College and Seton Hall Law influences a new generation of bold leaders who will grab his baton to accomplish lasting change and inspire others to do great things.