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Former Coke exec, wife give $30M to Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- A former Coca-Cola Co. president and his wife are giving the University of Notre Dame $30 million to erect a new building to house its Irish and Asian studies programs, school officials said Friday.

Donald and Marilyn Keough's gift will go toward the construction of Jenkins Hall, which will be located near the Hesburgh Center for International Studies and will carry the name of the Rev. John Jenkins, who has been Notre Dame's president since 2005.

"I am truly humbled by their request to name this magnificent addition to our campus in my honor, and grateful beyond words for their gift," Jenkins said.

The new building will house Notre Dame's Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, and provide additional space for the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

The building will be connected to another recently announced building, Nanovic Hall, which will house the departments of economics, political science and sociology, as well as the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. The combined complex will total approximately 170,000 square feet. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2015 and be completed by the start of the 2017-18 academic year.

Keough was with Coca-Cola for 42 years before retiring in 1993. He is chairman of the board of Allen & Company Inc., a New York investment banking firm. He has been a member of the university's board of trustees since 1978, serving as chair from 1986 to 1991.

The Keoughs, whose children attended Notre Dame, have made several other contributions to the university, including the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies; a summer internship program for Notre Dame students in Ireland; Malloy Hall, which houses the Departments of Theology and Philosophy; and a men's residence hall named in Marilyn Keough's honor.

"We believe in the power of Notre Dame to be a force for good in the world, and we know that the research and teaching that will be accomplished in this new facility will contribute to that end," Donald Keough said.