The Columns

W&L Celebrates Honors for Benefactors

— by on January 9th, 2008

Three of Washington and Lee University’s most generous benefactors, Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest and the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Inc., received awards for their philanthropy to institutions of higher learning from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), on Jan. 6 at the CIC’s annual Presidents Institute, in Marco Island, Fla.

The Lenfests received the CIC’s Award for Philanthropy (Individual). Gerry Lenfest, a member of the W&L undergraduate class of 1953 and law class of 1955, last spring gave $33 million to support faculty salaries at his alma mater. Previously, the couple had made possible W&L’s Lenfest Center for the Arts and John and Anne Wilson Hall.

CIC recognized the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Inc. with the Award for Philanthropy (Foundation and Corporate). The foundation’s president, P. Russell Hardin, accepted the honor. Since 1986, W&L has received more than $1,400,000 from the foundation for scholarships.

W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio and his wife, Kim, attended the ceremony, along with Tom Touchton, a member of the class of 1960 who served on the W&L Board of Trustees from 1982–1992, and his wife, Lee; and Rodney A. Smolla, dean of the W&L School of Law.

“Not only were we delighted to celebrate with our friends at this moving ceremony,” said President Ruscio, “but we also took pride in knowing that one of our own, Gerry Lenfest, was held up as a model of dedication to higher education.”

The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 570 independent colleges and universities, based in Washington. The organization supports college and university leadership, advances institutional excellence and enhances the societal contributions of private higher education. For more information, see http://www.cic.org.