Philanthropy Column

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Virtually all of a Virginia millionaire's $25-million estate will be used to launch a charitable education fund.

The fund, to be formed from the riches of Claude Moore, a former doctor, real-estate magnate, and conservationist who died this summer, will be one of the largest philanthropies in the state, said Verlin W. Smith, a longtime friend of the deceased and one of three executors for the estate.

Mr. Smith said that instructions regarding the estate were not clear, and that he could not give details on how and when the education trust would be set up until legal matters had been settled.

The estate's executors say it could take 18 months to get the education fund running.

Mr. Moore, who was never married, died of pneumonia at age 98. The philanthropist cultivated an austere, reclusive life style, living his final years in a log cabin, reportedly often eating out of tin cans. .

This summer, two other individuals also made sizable gifts in support of precollegiate education.

In Tupelo, Miss., L.D. Hancock, the founder of the Hancock Fabrics retail fabric store chain, donated $3.5 million to the Tupelo Learning Institute, a teacher-training and curriculum development center.

It was the largest individual grant ever made to a single public-school district.

The gift came on the heels of a $1 million grant from Lowell and Dwayne Andreas to the Lisbon (Iowa) Community School District to finance a student center, library, and computer center.

The brothers, who now live out of state, said they felt indebted to the Lisbon public schools, from which Lowell graduated in 1939 and Dwayne graduated in 1934.

A recent $130,000 grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation to the Great Books Foundation will allow the group's Junior Great Books program to shift its focus from gifted students to curriculum development for low-achieving students.

The Great Books Foundation will test and evaluate the new curriculum at five inner-city middle schools in Wichita, Kan., San Antonio, and New Orleans.

Last month, the foundation began training teachers from each participating school in the discussion-based, interpretive reading project, which is designed to develop analytical and critical-thinking skills.

The grant is part of the Clark Foundation's ongoing emphasis on middle-school reform, which encourages the setting of high expectations for students, enhanced academic content, and stronger learning support. --J.W.

Vol. 11, Issue 01, Page 1

Published in Print: September 4, 1991, as Philanthropy Column
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