Colgan Foundation

Our Mission

Colgan Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation founded by Sean P. Colgan to benefit athletic, scientific, environmental, and education communities. Since 1995, Colgan Foundation has lent support to charities and organizations with these aims:
  • To provide funding for the sport of rowing, both in the United States and internationally. Rowing produces a great sense of pride and accomplishment, as athletes work as a team to meet its physical and mental challenges.
  • To create educational initiatives for all levels of education, with a particular focus on schools in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area.
  • To support scientific research, with a particular focus on conservation.

Featured Projects

Sean Colgan C‘77 and his father were proud members of the University of Pennsylvania rowing teams, and the Colgan Foundation is a longtime supporter of and major benefactor of Penn Rowing. Our most recent contribution was the donation of new boats
The Mary Colgan Scholarship at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School, in Center City Philadelphia, has afforded a Catholic education to several students.
New national rowing trophy donated in memory of rowing legend Charles P. Colgan
Donation of a boat to the US Olympic Training Team
Roman Catholic High School was founded by Thomas E. Cahill in 1890 as the first free Diocesan Catholic high school for boys in the nation. Located in Inner City Philadelphia, “Roman” strives to offer a comprehensive academic curriculum within a disciplined Catholic environment. Enriched by its cultural, racial and religious diversity, Roman Catholic provides a community where each young man can learn to appreciate and respect the uniqueness of others, while becoming a man of personal integrity.
Shark Migration
Sponsor of the research study at Florida Atlantic University’s Elasmobranch Research Laboratory, charting the behavior of blacktip and spinner sharks.

Instagram: @sharkmigration

Penn Newman
The Penn Newman Centers are residence and Catholic ministry centers at non-Catholic universities throughout the world. These centers provide pastoral services and ministries to their Catholic communities, in particular to the Roman Catholic student population.

The Colgan Foundation sponsors the weekly Newman dinners at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, both in Philadelphia. These dinners are a vital component of the Penn Newman Center ministry offering a welcoming environment for students, staff, and the community to gather, share a meal, and learn about the Penn Newman Center programs. These dinners are an enjoyable and effective way to reach new students and connect or reconnect them with the Catholic faith community.

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About Sean Colgan

Sean Colgan rowing


A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the product of a Catholic education, Sean Padraic Colgan discovered the sport of rowing as an international economics student at the University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduation in 1977 he received the Hobson Award, given to the varsity athlete with the highest academic average.

Some of the highlights of Colgan’s illustrious 20-year rowing career include: Silver Medal and Bronze Medal in the World Championships in LightWeight 8 (1975, 1976); a Gold Medal in the Pan American Games in Eight (1979); Silver Medal as a member of the US Olympic Team Eight at the World Cup Championships (1980); National Champion Single Sculls (1982); Team Captain, Bronze Medal Pan American Games Single Sculls (1983); Bronze Medal World Cup Championships Quadruple Scull (1984); Coach, Gold Medal Eight at Pan American Games (2011); and Technical Director, El Salvador Rowing at the London Olympics (2012).

Today Colgan resides in Delray Beach, Florida, and serves as the Chairman, Owner, and Founder of International Materials (Bryn Mawr, PA, and Delray Beach, FL), a minerals trading company. He is also Chairman, Co-Founder, and Majority Owner of Synthetic Materials, the largest processor of synthetic gypsum in the United States, with 14 plants throughout the East and Midwest. Colgan continues his commitment to the sport of rowing as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Rowing Foundation since 1992; and as the president of Power Ten, the annual rowing dinner, held in New York City.

Colgan founded Colgan Foundation in 1995 to benefit athletic, scientific, and education causes. The father of five children, Colgan is joined on the board by his daughter, Eimile Colgan; niece, Flavia Colgan; and surgeon and conservation expert, Dr. Bibi Colgan.

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Please contact us for more info on Colgan Foundation or its programs.