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Jan 10, 2014 07:44 AM EST

WCU Receives Second-Largest Gift Worth 1.49 Million From Alumni Couple


Herbert and Gloria Mitchell, 1942 graduates of West Chester University, have donated their estate worth $1.49 million to the institute. This is the second largest gift in the school's history.

Meredith Sossman, associate executive director of the West Chester University Foundation (the school's fund raising body), said that the Mitchells were "honestly just very down-to-earth, humble, lovely people, and kept their ties to their alma mater all their lives."

Herbert and Gloria, who passed away 2008 and 2011 respectively, wanted their donation to be invested in the English and Music departments of the school.

Richard Przywara, executive director of the foundation, said that around $740,000 each will be designated for English department and College of Visual and Performing Arts and the remaining $48,000 will be used for scholarships. The scholarship has not been determined yet.

The couple attended West Chester State Teacher's College in the late 30's. Apart from receiving his graduation in 1942, Herbert was a member of the football team and the baseball manager. Herbert, a Navy lieutenant, taught English in Baltimore County schools.

Gloria was a 1942 graduate of West Chester State Teacher's College from the Music Education department and served in the Navy Reserves until 1956.  She was a pianist and taught the instrument in Baltimore schools. She also served as a librarian.

"Herbert and Gloria turned their chosen profession into lifelong avocations. We are very grateful that their legacy will be continued and remembered through each WCU student who benefits from their generous scholarships," Greg R. Weisenstein, the university's president, said in a statement.

Przywara said that in return of the gift, the school will be displaying a 1985 painting by Herbert and his military uniform in the West Chester Alumni and Foundation Center, which is still under construction.

"This gift will continue the Mitchells' legacy of teaching and inspiring the next generation of WCU students," says Przywara..

Over the next two decades, the university is expecting more gifts from 367 estates that have been bequeathed to the school. Some of them have already reached the school, while the rest of them are on their way.

"When these donors pass away, West Chester is going to receive millions of dollars," said Przywara, reports.

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