$9.1 MILLION BEQUEST IS LARGEST GIFT TO HAMILTONCOLLEGE
Doane Comstock, a self-described "country lawyer," graduated from HamiltonCollege in 1927. His gift represents the largest single contribution everreceived by the liberal arts college. In just the past 13 months, threebequests received by Hamilton have added $15.6 million in endowed scholarshipaid for students.
"Mr. Comstock's generosity will make an enormous difference in the lives ofbetween 30 and 40 Hamilton students annually," said President Eugene M. Tobin."That's a tremendous legacy for one individual who valued his own Hamiltoneducation and wanted to make certain others would have the same opportunity hehad."
The Dixon-Comstock Scholarship Fund, for which The Bank of New York will serveas trustee, is named in memory of Mr. Comstock, his wife, his grandparents andhis mother. Recipients of Dixon-Comstock Scholarships must be U.S. citizens,have strong academic records, and qualify for financial aid.
Doane Comstock came to Hamilton in 1922 from Brewster High School. While anundergraduate, he joined Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and served as businessmanager of the Hamiltonian. He excelled academically, capturing theWinslow Prize in Greek and graduating Phi Beta Kappa with honors in philosophyand political science. After acquiring his LL.B. degree from New YorkUniversity in 1933, he practiced corporate law in New York City, beforeestablishing his own law firm on Main Street in Brewster.
In subsequent years, Mr. Comstock served as attorney for the village ofBrewster and the town of Southeast. He was also president of the BrewsterBoard of Education for more than 25 years and a trustee of the BrewsterPresbyterian Church. Mr. Comstock died on June 13, 1994, at the age of 90.His wife of 48 years, Helen Brancati Comstock, died two years later on August23, 1996.
Due to Mr. Comstock's family's financial circumstances nearly 75 years ago,Tobin said the gift represents the intentions of a man who felt passionatelyabout education in general and about keeping Hamilton accessible toacademically talented students in particular.
"Throughout his life, Doane Comstock was committed to high qualityeducation," said Tobin. "This gift perpetuates that commitment."
Mr. Comstock's gift comes approximately one year after William M. Bristol Jr.,a member of the class of 1917, bequeathed $5.25 million to Hamilton, andseveral weeks after the college announced receipt of a $3.5 million bequestfrom the estate of William C. Bolenius, a 1921 Hamilton graduate. A largeportion of each of those gifts have established endowed scholarship programsthat provide renewable annual grants of up to $10,000 each to academicallyoutstanding students who have demonstrated their proficiency in persuasive oraland written communication and their commitment to citizenship.
In just 13 months, the Bristol, Bolenius and Comstock bequests have added$15.6 million in endowed scholarship aid for Hamilton students. Collegeofficials estimate that approximately 75 students, or 4.5 percent of the 1,650students who attend Hamilton, will benefit from these gifts.
"Student scholarship aid is our most pressing need," said Tobin. "These giftswill make an immediate and significant impact in Hamilton's ability to attractthe nation's finest students."
Hamilton currently budgets nearly $11 million for financial aid. Approximately54% of all Hamilton students are the beneficiaries of that generosity, with theaverage financial aid package totaling $17,705.
Hamilton's endowment and similar funds, which stood at $196 million on June30, 1995, grew by 26 percent to $246 million one year later.
Hamilton is a highly selective, residential college that offers its 1,650students a rigorous liberal arts curriculum. It is the third oldest college inNew York State and is named in honor of U.S. statesman Alexander Hamilton, acharter trustee of the college's predecessor, the Hamilton-Oneida Academy.