Alumna Leaves More than $27 Million to Wellesley College;
Gift is Largest Bequest to Women’s College

For immediate release:
May 20, 2005
Mary Ann Hill

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Leonie Faroll, a lifelong New Yorker who skillfully managed her investments for decades and maintained a very frugal lifestyle, has left Wellesley College more than $27 million. The bequest is the largest in the college’s history and is the largest bequest ever to a women’s college. Faroll, a member of the Class of 1949, died in September 2003 at the age of 75.

“This huge bequest comes both as a stunning surprise and as the most natural extension of Leonie’s lifetime of generous and thoughtful attention to Wellesley's basic needs,” said President Diana Chapman Walsh in announcing the gift. “To have these very substantial funds is a tremendous boost as we near the end of our record-setting campaign.”

With Faroll’s remarkable gift, total gifts and pledges to The Wellesley Campaign topped $450 million as of mid-May, far surpassing the goal of $400 million. When the campaign ends on June 30, Wellesley will set the record for campaign fundraising by a liberal arts college.

Faroll was keenly interested in how things work and recognized the importance and cost of infrastructure, whether it was the boiler in her New York City apartment building or Wellesley’s innovative cogeneration plant, which generates electricity for the entire campus. Whenever she came to campus, she made it a point to visit her “power house buddies,” even arriving early for her 45th Reunion in 1994 so she could visit “the troops,” as she called them.

For more than 40 years, Faroll had made annual anonymous donations to an endowment fund she had established in memory of her parents, Berenice D. and Joseph Faroll. Initially the endowment fund was unrestricted but, in 1993, she designated its annual income to the power plant.

In keeping with Faroll’s clearly stated intentions in her will, the funds will be used for capital improvements to the power plant and for infrastructure improvements, structural renovations, and new equipment in the Science Center.

While her philanthropy was anonymous during her lifetime, Faroll requested in her will that the power plant be named in memory of her parents. In recognition of her extraordinary gift to Wellesley, a plaque bearing her name will be placed in the atrium of the Science Center.

To watch a New England Cable News story on this remarkable gift, click here.