Sage Receives $9 Million Surprise Bequest from Russell Sage Alumna

April 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Sage Receives $9 Million Surprise Bequest from Russell Sage Alumna

Sage's President, Susan Scrimshaw, announces a $9 million alumna bequest.

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TROY, N.Y. – The Sage Colleges were notified recently that Lucile Rosenfeld Shea, who attended Russell Sage in 1937 and 1938, willed Sage a bequest valued at more than $9 million. Shea, who most recently lived in a retirement community in North Carolina, had donated modestly to the college during her lifetime and did not reveal the details of her bequest before her death.

A lifelong lover of books, Shea dedicated the gift to benefit the Troy Campus Library. The designation of the gift could not have been more fortuitous, as the library has been identified as a priority need for capital improvements, in anticipation of a centennial campaign for Sage’s 100th anniversary in 2016.

The library will undergo a total renovation – similar to the Albany Campus Library’s transformation two years ago – to become the Shea Learning Center, housing not only library resources but also complementary offices and services for academic enrichment – such as the Donnelly Center for Undergraduate Research – as well as a café to be named Lucile’s. A complete needs assessment and conceptual planning process is underway, and the goal is to begin renovations in the summer 2013.

The bequest will also create a library endowment to fund educational programs, lecture series and community outreach; updated technology, media and software; professional programs for faculty and continuing education for librarians; and special collections, particularly those that support new and specialized degree programs, such as the Achieve Degree for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and other learning disabilities.

“Following the spectacular $10 million gift from board chair Donna Esteves last month, we now celebrate a windfall gift from an alumna who lived quietly, loved literature, and now leaves a great legacy,” said president Susan C. Scrimshaw, Ph.D. “This bequest will transform the ‘intellectual heart of campus’ to benefit today’s students and further Sage’s efforts to look and be its best as we culminate its first century in a few years.”