News and analysis
February 16, 2016

Gifts Roundup: $10 Million Establishes Professorships at Bates College

Bates College

Seven Bates College families have made gift commitments totaling $19 million to create six endowed professorships.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Rochester Area Community Foundation

The family of the founder of Constellation Brands, a wine, beer, and spirits company, gave $61 million to establish the Sands Family Supporting Foundation. Through the philanthropy, the family — Mickey Sands, widow of Marvin Sands, the company’s founder, and their sons Rob and Richard — will back local arts, education, health, and other groups.

Marvin Sands founded the company in 1945. Rob Sands is chief executive, and Richard Sands is chairman of the board.

Bates College

Michael Bonney and his wife, Alison Grott Bonney, donated $10 million to establish three new professorships, one each in digital and computational studies, neuroscience, and chemistry. The Bonneys graduated from Bates in 1980.

Michael Bonney is a partner at Third Rock Ventures, which helps launch biomedicine start-up businesses, and formerly ran Cubist Pharmaceuticals.

He has served as a Bates trustee since 2002 and as board chair since 2010. Three of the Bonneys’ children are Bates graduates, and Mr. Bonney’s father and grandfather attended the college.

Goodwill Industries Foundation of Central Indiana

Martha Davis, a Columbus, Ind., homemaker, left $2.5 million to the charity she had supported throughout her lifetime.

Ms. Davis was 101 when she died in 2013. Her bequest will support education, employment, and other programs for people in need in Central Indiana.

Auburn University

Charles (Buddy) Miller III and his wife, Pinney Allen, gave $2.5 million for a new poultry center, which will be named the Charles C. Miller Jr. Poultry Research & Education Center. Charles Miller Jr. was Mr. Miller’s father and a poultry industry pioneer. He died in 2002.

Mr. Miller helped lead Level 3 Communications until 2013 and was president of BellSouth International from 1995 to December 2000.

Morgan State University

Calvin Tyler Jr., a retired United Parcel Service senior executive, and his wife, Tina, donated $5 million to the university for an endowed scholarship fund the couple created in 2002.

The scholarships cover full tuition for Morgan students who live in Baltimore City, the Tylers’ hometown.

Mr. Tyler entered the university in 1961 and was the first person in his family to attend college. He was studying business administration but had to leave in 1963 because he didn’t have enough money for tuition.

He quit school, and in 1964 he took a job as one of the first 10 drivers at UPS in Baltimore. He went on to become a manager and eventually a board member and senior vice president for operations. He retired in 1998.

University of Kansas Endowment

Ernest and Virginia Klema left $1.8 million to create a professorship in experimental physics.

Mr. Klema died in 2008, and Ms. Klema died last year. She was a principal research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kansas University in 1941 and 1942, respectively. He was attending Princeton University for his doctorate when a project he was working on was transferred to Los Alamos, N.M., where he become part of the team of scientists working on the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb.

Mr. Klema went on to help develop the electron microscope, and in 1968 he became a professor and dean of the College of Engineering at Tufts University, where he spent the rest of his career.

University of San Francisco

Paul Fry, an orthopedist who was a father of two USF alumni and a grandparent of one, left $1 million to support scholarships for undergraduate students with financial need.

Dr. Fry died last May. He was notable for creating the first formal medical-care program for the United States Ski Team.

To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.

Send an email to Maria Di Mento.