News and analysis
January 17, 2017

Gifts Roundup: Iowa State Lands $93 Million Equity Gift

William Stone

Carrie Chapman Cat Hall, the home of Iowa State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Iowa State University Foundation

Frank Ferguson has donated his majority interest in an education-technology company called Curriculum Associates, valued at about $93 million, to endow the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Ferguson is a former chief executive of Curriculum Associates and an early investor in the company. He attended Iowa State University from 1947 to 1950.

University officials said the donor wanted to remain anonymous, but both The Boston Globe and The Des Moines Register have named him.

The foundation will eventually direct a portion of the gift — about $28 million — to the Boston Foundation.

Essex County Community Foundation

Kingman (King) Webster left about $18 million and stipulated that it should be used primarily for scholarships for graduates of the Community Day Charter School in Lawrence, Mass., and to support other nonprofits that help youths in the area.

Mr. Webster, a retired businessman and philanthropist, died in 2015.

Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut and Community Foundation of Middlesex County

Mary Janvrin left $8 million apiece to the foundations to create two funds to support animals and nature conservation.

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut will house the Mary Janvrin and Natalie Janvrin Wiggins Fund for Birds, Other Animals and Nature; and the Community Foundation of Middlesex County will house a fund for local wildlife and conservation programs.

Ms. Janvrin died in 2016, and her sister Natalie died in 2010.

High Point University

David and Christine Cottrell pledged $1.5 million to support an outdoor amphitheater.

The Cottrells founded RetailData, a data-collection business, in 1988. They are the parents of a High Point University graduate. They gave the university $4 million in 2015 for a new building.

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.