Cawley, Prominent Donor, Dies

Charles Cawley (CAS ’62), whose donations to the university led to the construction of the Davis Performing Arts Center in 2005 and the Cawley Career Education Center in 1994, died at the age of 75 at his home in Camden, Maine, Wednesday morning.

The cause of death has yet to be disclosed.

The donations by Cawley and the MBNA Corporation funded the construction of the career center in 1994.

The donations also funded the adjacent Sellinger Lounge, named for Cawley’s mentor and former Georgetown College Dean Rev. Joseph Sellinger, S.J.

The career center, which originally had an unspecified name, was renamed after Cawley in 2012. It is currently housed in Leavey Center.

Cawley was also instrumental in the continued funding of the Baker Scholars Program, an undergraduate initiative to cultivate socially conscious business leaders.

Cawley also established the 1111 Cawley/Murphy GU Scholarship in memory of his nephew.

The scholarship is awarded to undergraduates from Delaware, Maine, Maryland or New Jersey who demonstrate financial need.

Cawley founded the MBNA Corporation in 1982 and served as its CEO from 1982 to 2003.

The company grew into the world’s largest credit card issuer before Bank of America bought the company for $35 billion in 2006.

Cawley spearheaded the affinity lending industry, recruiting organizations such as universities, sports teams and charities to sponsor credit cards backed by the company.

Cawley and MBNA are also credited with reviving downtown Wilmington, Del., after opening their headquarters there in 1995.

Georgetown honored Cawley first with the John Carroll Award in 1998, then again with the Wall Street Alliance Award in 2002 for his service to the university.

Cawley is survived by his wife Julie and their two children C. Michael Cawley (CAS ’86) and Maureen Cawley Rhodes (CAS ’88).

A full obituary will be published on

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Mr. Cawley died in his home in Camden, Minn. Mr. Cawley died in his home in Camden, Maine.

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