LAKE FOREST, IL – A small liberal arts college has gotten an unexpected donation from one of their alumni!
Grace Groner was incredibly reserved with her money, a result of living through the Great Depression. Groner chose to buy her clothes from rummage sales rather than department stores. She chose to walk everywhere rather than buy a car. Her home was furnished with a few simple pieces of furniture. And her TV was an outdated giant that makes anyone’s in America seem like state-of-the-art. What’s the catch?
Well Grace Groner wasn’t exactly counting pennies it was more of a personal choice for her. In 1935 she purchase a stock for $180 which turned into a grand total of $7 million today.
Her one out of the ordinary blip in spending was a scholarship program she created for Lake Forest College, her alma mater. She had told the school that she planned to donate more once she passed away. In January, at the age of 100, Groner passed away and her attorney informed the college president that she had left her fortune to the school.
“Oh, my God,” the president said. in this case, that seems more than adequate in response to such a deed.
The money will be invested into a foundation that will enable many of Lake Forest’s 1,300 students to pursue internships and study-abroad programs they otherwise might have had to forgo. It will be an incredible memorial to a woman’s life that wasn’t based on the spoils of money but rather the simple things.
“She did not have the material needs that other people have,” said William Marlatt, her attorney and longtime friend. “She could have lived in any house in Lake Forest but she chose not to … She enjoyed other people, and every friend she had was a friend for who she was. They weren’t friends for what she had.”
To top it all off, Groner’s house was also left for the college. It will be turned into living quarters for women who receive foundation scholarships. An incredibly remarkable act of selflessness and generosity. Grance Groner’s legacy will live for years and years to come.