The last thing Dr. William L. Medd expected to find in his mailbox was a $1 million check.
But when the Norway, Maine, internist opened an envelope marked "personal and confidential" last month, he discovered a seven-figure check from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cincinnati and an unsigned letter directing him to use the money to start the Oxford Hills Scholarship Foundation.
The letter explained that scholarships should go to any graduate of the local Oxford Hills High School to attend an accredited college or postsecondary program.
Dr. Medd and four others the donor named to the foundation's board are discussing how to distribute interest the endowment will earn by next spring.
"We want the fund to have a broad brush versus giving a lump sum to one or two kids," Dr. Medd said in an interview.
The foundation has an incentive to carry out its duties correctly. The donor promised another $1 million in three years if the first donation is handled according to the specifications.
Dr. Medd isn't speculating about who the mystery donor may be. He fears any guesses would disclose someone who wants to remain nameless, and thus would jeopardize the gift.
When some of Fred Light's fellow members of the class of 1973 at Bettendorf High School in Iowa asked him to help track down classmates for a 25th-year reunion, Mr. Light volunteered to create a World Wide Web site.
"They always have a problem finding people," he said. "I said, 'Put together a Web site and have them find you.'"
Mr. Light, who runs a roommate service and designs Web pages in Boston, built quite an elaborate one. He scanned in photos of classmates and posted a list of class members the reunion committee was unable to locate. As information flowed in through e-mail, he added biographies.
Although the reunion is scheduled for July 24 and 25, many of the 300-some classmates have already used the Web page to set up carpools from their states to the reunion.
Even strangers have taken an interest. Banyan Productions, a Philadelphia-based company, is asking for class members to share their stories and be filmed for a documentary on reunions to be shown on the Learning Channel. The Web site is at 18.104.22.168/bhs/index.html.
--DAVID J. HOFF & MARY ANN ZEHR
Vol. 17, Issue 42, Page 3Published in Print: July 8, 1998, as Take Note