|Centre receives largest individual gift
to a Kentucky college or university
RELEASED: July 23, 2003
DANVILLE, KY-Centre College has received the largest individual gift of non-property assets ever made to a Kentucky college or universitya commitment in excess of $18 million from the estate of Centre alumnus H.W. Stodghill, Jr., and his wife, Adele Stodghill.
The gift will provide endowed scholarships, professorships and chairs. Increasing endowment for student scholarships and faculty support are top priorities of Centre's strategic plan, according to college officials.
"This extraordinarily generous gift from this remarkable couple will greatly benefit Centre College and the education of its students," said Centre president John Roush. "It will allow more hard-working, talented students the opportunity to attend Centre, and it enables us to remain the most affordable of the U.S. News top-50 national liberal arts colleges."
Centre currently offers financial aid to more than 80 percent of its students.
Richard Trollinger, vice president for college relations, said Wes Stodghill was a faithful supporter of his alma mater throughout his lifetime.
"By anyone's definition, this is a mega-gift," Trollinger said. "Because of its enormous size, the Stodghill bequest will ensure a level of excellence in teaching and learning at Centre that Wes and Adele valued and supported with gifts they made during their lifetime."
John Ward, dean of the college, agreed, noting: "Such a gift ensures that Centre will continue to hire and support an excellent teaching faculty. The president has named a special committee of faculty and administrators to plan how best to use the bequest in support of academic excellence. Talented students and dedicated teachers have made Centre what it is today, and the Stodghill gift both affirms that history and guarantees its continuance."
Strong alumni support is a tradition at Centre, where for 15 of the past 18 years the college has led the nation in the percentage of alumni who contribute annually.
Mr. Stodghill, a 1936 graduate of Centre, majored in biology and chemistry. Upon graduation he co-founded Independence Life & Accident Insurance Co. of Louisville. He served as the company's president and CEO for a number of years. Mr. Stodghill was first elected to Centre's board of trustees in 1965 and became an emeritus trustee in 1994. The Louisville native also served as Alumni Association president (1964-65), received the Louisville alumni chapter's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1964 and served on numerous committees at his alma mater. Centre College conferred an honorary doctor of humane letters degree on Mr. Stodghill in 1994.
Mr. Stodghill died Dec. 11, 2002. His wife of 60 years, Adele, died May 4, 2001.
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