Section: News

$12 million gift to College will fund new scholarship

The name Robert Hubbard might not mean that much to the average Kenyon student, but this member of the Class of 1953 has left Kenyon $12 million, one of its largest bequests ever.

Hubbard died two years ago at the age of 84 and named Kenyon in his will. The gift will total approximately $12 million. So far, the College has received $4.8 million. The remaining amount — minus any taxes and fees that may arise — will be paid out in one or two payments over the next few fiscal years, according to Associate Vice President for Annual Giving Kyle Henderson.

Henderson said Hubbard’s gift is the largest bequest (a gift left in one’s estate) that Kenyon has received, possibly ever — and definitely the largest in the last few decades.

Hubbard attended Harvard for two years before transferring to Kenyon after a stint traveling around Europe, according to an Oct. 3 article on the Kenyon website. At Kenyon, he majored in psychology, participated in dramatics and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He received a master’s in English from the University of New Hampshire in 1974 and spent his professional life teaching at private schools in New England and Florida before retiring to his family farm in Walpoole, N.H., where he lived until his death.

Hubbard’s will specified the bequest should go into Kenyon’s endowment (currently around $218.6 million), according to Henderson. The gift will count toward an upcoming capital campaign that the College will be announcing in the next few years.

“That’s roughly five percent of our endowment, so one single gift is a huge impact,” President Sean Decatur said. Decatur has previously said that he would like to double Kenyon’s endowment, which is small in comparison with many of Kenyon’s peer institutions.

Henderson said Kenyon anticipated a bequest from Hubbard, but administrators were unsure how much the College would receive. Hubbard did not consult with the College about the purpose of the gift; he had been very ill in the last years of his life, according to Henderson, and was unable to meet with College officials.

This is not Hubbard’s first substantial gift to the College: In 2000, he gave $1.5 million to fund the Robert P. Hubbard ’53 Professorship in Poetry, held by Janet McAdams.
Hubbard specified that students from New Hampshire and those involved in the fine arts should receive preference for the scholarship funds. Henderson said it will be the responsibility of Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Diane Anci and the financial aid department to assign these funds.  

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