News and analysis
September 06, 2016

Gifts Roundup: Holocaust Museum Gets $1 Million From War-Crimes Lawyer

Brooks Kraft, Getty Images

A renewable annual pledge by Benjamin Ferencz, who prosecuted Nazi death-squad leaders at the Nuremberg trials, could provide up to $10 million for an institute to advance international justice housed at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Benjamin Ferencz, the last living Nuremberg war-crimes prosecutor, gave $1 million through his Planethood Foundation to the museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide to create the Ferencz International Justice Initiative. He also pledged to give $1 million annually for up to 10 years.

Mr. Ferencz served as chief prosecutor for the U.S. Army at one of the 13 military trials of Nazi officials held in Nuremberg, Germany, after World War II. In the trial, his first as a criminal prosecutor, Mr. Ferencz secured guilty verdicts against 22 high-ranking members of the Einsatzgruppen, SS death squads accused of murdering more than a million people during Adolf Hitler’s reign.

Mr. Ferencz, who is 96, later dedicated his legal expertise to securing restitution for Holocaust survivors. He also worked to recover stolen Jewish art, businesses, properties, and religious objects and return them to their owners.

University of Notre Dame

Diane Quinn, the widow of financier Thomas Quinn, gave $5 million for a new building at the university’s Innovation Park campus.

The facility, to be named for the couple, will house a program to develop student and faculty ideas into businesses and provide space for more than two dozen startup companies.

Mr. Quinn earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Notre Dame in 1969 and was a managing partner of the Jordan Company, an investment firm that acquires, manages, and builds businesses, usually in partnership with existing owners or managers. He died in April.

University of New Hampshire

Robert Morin, who worked for nearly 50 years as a cataloguer in the university’s Dimond Library, left $4 million, the bulk of his estate, to the institution. Of the mostly unrestricted donation, the university will use $2.5 million to create a centrally located student career center and $1 million to erect a video scoreboard at the campus’s new football stadium.

The donor, who graduated from the university in 1961, directed $100,000 to the Dimond Library to support work-study students, staff members studying library science, and renovation for a multimedia room. The university has not yet decided how the remaining $400,000 will be used.

A lover of films and books, Mr. Morin decided in his later years to read, in chronological order, every book published in the United States from 1930 to 1940, excluding children’s books, textbooks, and books about cooking and technology. At the time of his death last year, he had reached 1938, the year of his birth.

City University of New York

James and Cathleen Stone donated $2.5 million to the university’s Graduate Center to back research on wealth and social and economic inequality. The university’s Luxembourg Income Study Center will be renamed the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality.

Mr. Stone founded Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, an insurance group made up of several companies. Earlier in his career, he served as Massachusetts’s state insurance commissioner and chaired the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Ms. Stone is a lawyer and former Boston city official. She is the widow of Justice William Douglas, the longest-serving member of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Clemson University

Melvin and Dollie Younts pledged $2.5 million to help renovate the university’s athletics facilities.

Mr. Younts is a real-estate developer and retired attorney. The youngest of the couple’s five children graduated from Clemson in 1987; five of their grandchildren are alumni and two others are current Clemson students.

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.