Californian Gives $10 Million to Small Liberal Arts School
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. (AP) _ A 79-year-old physician will leave the bulk of his estate - $10 million - to the College of the Ozarks to inspire others to give the small school money, officials said.
″It’s a very unusual story,″ college President Jerry C. Davis said.
The California man, whose identity was not made public by the liberal arts school, took an interest in the college after reading about it in the Wall Street Journal in 1973, Davis said Thursday.
After visiting the school, nestled in scenic Ozarks hills, the doctor decided to make the donation after his death to get others to give money, Davis said.
″That article was the only contact he had with the school,″ Davis said. ″In fact, he had never been here until about a year ago.″
The $10 million will be used to endow a School of Natural Sciences, professorships and scholarships and to construct a new classroom-office building to be named after the man.
″It is my hope that this commitment will enable you to start your campaign to raise substantial sums of money,″ the man wrote in a letter to Davis. ″I want to challenge others to help strengthen and prepare the college for the future.″
Davis said the college’s emphasis on work experience contributed to the man’s decision.
The college has an enrollment of about 1,400, including 1,200 full-time students. All the full-time students work at one of 65 campus jobs or industries to pay for part of their education. The remaining portion is provided through scholarships, gifts and donations.
College of the Ozarks, formerly School of the Ozarks, was founded in 1906 to educate students who were financially unable to enter other schools.
The school has been ranked in U.S. News and World Report magazine as one of the top 10 liberal arts schools in the Midwest for the past two years and the ″best buy″ college in the region.