Fielding a big hit
Tiny St. John’s College has a combined student enrollment of less than 1,000, but it has generated at least a couple of big financial hitters.
The private liberal arts college, which has campuses in Santa Fe, N.M., and Annapolis, Md., this month got a big jolt—a $50 million one.
Ron Fielding, the retired chief strategist and senior vice president of the Rochester division of Oppenheimer Funds, and Warren Spector, the former co-president of Bear Stearns, each announced a $25 million gift to the college—each the largest gift in the college’s history.
Ron, who graduated in 1970, is the college’s chairman. Warren, who graduated a year later, is its capital campaign chairman.
“This commitment is our rallying cry to fellow board members, alumni and friends at the dawn of our capital campaign,” said Ron, who was inducted into the Rochester Business Hall of Fame in 2005. “It’s a signal of confidence in the college’s direction and a call to action.”
Fielding’s and Spector’s support is to be directed primarily toward strengthening the college’s programs and ensuring that all students with a desire to attend can afford to do so. Both gifts will be made as cash and not estate gifts. The largest share will be designated for the college’s endowment, officials say.
Fielding, who for more than 25 years managed the Oppenheimer Rochester municipal bond funds, and its predecessors, the Rochester Funds, retired in 2009.
The Genesee Country Museum last week received a $10,000 Mars grant—that’s from the chocolate company, not the planet.
The museum was one of three recipients of a grant for the research and programming of historic chocolate.
GCVM, which has partnered with Mars in programming with historic chocolate since 2000, researched 19th-century cookbooks to find, document and share recipes using chocolate from 1800 to 1900. Some were prepared and documented on video in the appropriate period buildings at the museum.
Other grant winners were We Make History, a Tucson, Ariz., schools program focusing on the role of chocolate in the Revolutionary and Civil wars; and the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia for its research on chocolate mills and the role of chocolate in the lives of free and enslaved 18th-century African-Americans.
“Chocolate history is an important part of who we are at Mars,” said Gail Broadright, director of Mars sponsorships. “Each year we have the incredible opportunity of furthering the discovery and interpretation of chocolate’s unique role in our collective heritage.”
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