A Tradition of Service
The Wilson Sheehan Foundation is funded, directed, and operated by members of the Wilson and Sheehan families. Working together, they are carrying family traditions of service into the future.
Chris and Lorraine Wilson met on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in the 1980's. Chris studied government and business at Notre Dame and Lorraine studied accounting at nearby St. Mary’s College. Following graduation in 1985, Lorraine practiced accounting at Arthur Young, Citicorp and a small business before devoting her full time to raising a family. Chris began a career in finance at GE Capital, moved to a small private equity firm, and then to Stonehill Capital in 1994, where he helped grow the firm from less than $100 million in assets under management to over $2.5 billion. Chris continues to serve as a senior partner at Stonehill.
Chris and Lorraine are active in supporting their local schools, community, and causes they care about. Chris is proud to serve the University of Notre Dame as a board member of Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, and as a member of the Campaign Cabinet, Undergraduate Experience Council, and Wall Street Leadership Committee. Chris serves on the board of the Drexel Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding promising school concepts. Chris is the Chairman of the Board of St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, CT. Lorraine is a volunteer and former board member of the Mercy Learning Center, an organization providing basic literacy and life skills training to low-income women. Lorraine is actively engaged in helping grantees of the foundation succeed in their missions. For Chris and Lorraine, the Wilson Sheehan Foundation is a way to put their faith into action.
In late 2012 as we prepared to launch our family foundation, we were grateful for an occasion to meet with Father Ted Hesburgh, the renowned former President of the University of Notre Dame who died in February, 2015. In seeking his counsel, we were hoping this great man who had traveled the world over a long lifetime, advised U.S. presidents, and generally been larger than life would steer us to a specific philanthropic need – do our homework for us. But he had no such specific advice. He said, ‘Follow your hearts, pray about it, and by the way, the prayer I like best is a simple one – Come Holy Spirit.’ Rather than getting the specific direction we had hoped for, Father Ted gave us so much more, a few simple guideposts for living, for getting closer to God, and for running our foundation. As we created the logo for the Wilson Sheehan Foundation, the image of the dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, was the clear choice.