Sage Colleges receive another big gift

Lucile Corey Rosenfeld Shea items sage colleges

A few items from Shea's time at Sage.

You know those scenes in movies where a person is approached by an attorney, and the person's all like, "No, not me, I think you have the wrong person..." And then the attorney says, "Your long lost aunt has passed away. And left you a million dollars."

It sounds like that's sort of what happened to the Sage Colleges. The school(s) announced today that it was recently surprised by a bequest from Lucile Rosenfeld Shea, who attended Sage in the 1930s. The amount: $9 million -- one of the biggest gifts in school history.

From the announcement:

The Sage Colleges were notified recently that Lucile Rosenfeld Shea, who attended Russell Sage in 1937 and 1938, willed Sage a bequest valued at more than $9 million. Shea, who most recently lived in a retirement community in North Carolina, had donated modestly to the college during her lifetime and did not reveal the details of her bequest before her death.
A lifelong lover of books, Shea dedicated the gift to benefit the Troy Campus Library. The designation of the gift could not have been more fortuitous, as the library has been identified as a priority need for capital improvements, in anticipation of a centennial campaign for Sage's 100th anniversary in 2016.

We've heard from Sage that Ms. Shea was a very private person, and the school doesn't know much about her life -- her husband passed away in 2003, they didn't have any children. She loved flower arranging and books. (Full press release after the jump.)

This is the second large gift Sage has received recently. In March, Donna Esteves -- the chair of school's board an an alumna -- gave $10 million to the school, the largest gift in its history.

Sage Receives $9 Million Surprise Bequest from Russell Sage Alumna
TROY, N.Y. - The Sage Colleges were notified recently that Lucile Rosenfeld Shea, who attended Russell Sage in 1937 and 1938, willed Sage a bequest valued at more than $9 million. Shea, who most recently lived in a retirement community in North Carolina, had donated modestly to the college during her lifetime and did not reveal the details of her bequest before her death.
A lifelong lover of books, Shea dedicated the gift to benefit the Troy Campus Library. The designation of the gift could not have been more fortuitous, as the library has been identified as a priority need for capital improvements, in anticipation of a centennial campaign for Sage's 100th anniversary in 2016.
The library will undergo a total renovation - similar to the Albany Campus Library's transformation two years ago - to become the Shea Learning Center, housing not only library resources but also complementary offices and services for academic enrichment - such as the Donnelly Center for Undergraduate Research - as well as a café to be named Lucile's. A complete needs assessment and conceptual planning process is underway, and the goal is to begin renovations in the summer 2013.
The bequest will also create a library endowment to fund educational programs, lecture series and community outreach; updated technology, media and software; professional programs for faculty and continuing education for librarians; and special collections, particularly those that support new and specialized degree programs, such as the Achieve Degree for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and other learning disabilities.
"Following the spectacular $10 million gift from board chair Donna Esteves last month, we now celebrate a windfall gift from an alumna who lived quietly, loved literature, and now leaves a great legacy," said president Susan C. Scrimshaw, Ph.D. "This bequest will transform the 'intellectual heart of campus' to benefit today's students and further Sage's efforts to look and be its best as we culminate its first century in a few years."

image via Sage Colleges

Comments

As a proud Russell Sage almuna, it thrills me to see these bequests as they show a reverence for the fantastic education this once revered women's college gave to so many of us. I just wish the institution itself would more clearly recogize how special Russell Sage is - it seems my dear alma mater has been almost completely subsumed into the "Sage" brand with only an occassional hat tip to the rich history and unique opportunity Russell Sage as a women's college provides. I understand the economic realities, as more and more schools have shed their same-sex status, but that doesn't mean it doesn't make me sad. It's not just the "Troy Campus" of Sage, or, at least it shouldn't be.

I was a neighbor of Lucile Shea when we both lived in Fearrington Village, NC. I learned of her attendance at Russell Sage because a piece of mail addressed to her from Sage was mistakenly put in my mailbox. I brought it to her and told her that I went to Sage also. She made no comment. She was indeed a very private person. I'm thrilled that she has honored Russelll Sage in such an extraordinary way.

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