In The News... | Sharpe Group
Posted December 1st, 1997

In The News…

Michener: epic writer, epic giver

James Michener, best-selling author of Tales of the South Pacific and Texas, died of kidney failure in October.While he was best known for his lengthy historical and geographic novels, Michener was also a notable philanthropist. Voted one of America’s top 25 philanthropists in 1996 by Fortune magazine, Michener gave $7 million to Swarthmore, his alma mater, and $44.2 million to the University of Texas during his lifetime. He called his gift to Swarthmore payment back with interest for the scholarship he received when he was a student.

Source: The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, October 17, 1997

Using the Dow for endowment

Miami University alumna Arretha Cornell Sheriff graduated in 1918 and worked as an advisor at the school from 1945 until 1962. When she died at age 98, Sheriff, who had never earned more than $5,000 per year, bequeathed $6.5 million to Miami. Sheriff apparently invested in stocks over the years. While friends say she liked to chat about the stock market, no one ever dreamed Sheriff had amassed so much money. The unrestricted bequest will be used to create an endowment and fund other projects.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 12, 1997

New site on aging

Gift planners spend much of their time serving older adults. Now there is a new web site from the Administration on Aging that offers a wealth of information for those who work with people over age 65. The site provides statistics regarding projected health conditions of the aging population, details of life expectancy, marital status, education level, existence of children, and potential income level. The address of this web site is

Source: American Demographics, November 1997

Web links art donor to gallery

Surfing the web may be more than just a fun way to spend a few hours. It may be one of the tools donors use to assist them in their charitable giving plans. Rhodes College’s Clough-Hanson Gallery experienced the power of the Internet when their web page helped attract a donor who wanted to donate a collection of modern art prints. It all started when Adam Schuster, gallery director for London Arts Inc. in Detroit, was asked by a client to find a home for the prints. Usually Schuster would have turned to his directory of college galleries to begin his search, but this time he decided to search the web, where he found the Clough-Hanson Gallery web page. After six months of communication between Rhodes and Schuster, Clough-Hanson has added 42 of the modern prints to their permanent collection. Without the web search, Schuster would never have known about the Rhodes gallery because it isn’t included in his college museum directory.

Source: The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, October 19, 1997

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