Goucher College is set to receive a $55 million bequest, the largest donation in the Baltimore County institution’s history.

The money is coming from the estate of Anica Donnan Rawnsley, who graduated from Goucher College in 1951 and served on its Board of Trustees for 16 years. Most of the gift, $50 million, is going into the college’s endowment and will be earmarked for scholarships, a university spokesperson said.

“Ninety-nine percent of current Goucher students receive either financial aid or scholarships of some type,” Goucher President Kent Devereaux said in a statement. “Future generations of Goucher students will be able to do that, in part, thanks to the tremendous generosity of Mrs. Rawnsley.”

The other $5 million from Rawnsley’s bequest will fund three new graduate programs and an international student recruitment program.

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The institution learned of the bequest a few months ago and has been working out the details, a university spokesperson said. It will be added into the college’s 2025-2026 academic year budget. It could take more than a year for the bequest to be finalized through the Office of the Attorney General in Pennsylvania, where the trust was established, the spokesperson said.

Goucher College received a $10 million gift last year to support the construction of a new science building on campus from Judy C. Lewent, who graduated in 1970. Until the Rawnsley gift, Lewent’s was the largest in the school’s history.

Rawnsley, who was born in Pittsburgh, died last summer. She was 94. She was also the first woman trustee of Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, where she gave a $50 million gift for scholarships.

Goucher College was founded in 1885 and has about 1,100 undergraduate students and 900 graduate students. It’s home to the Goucher College Poll, which regularly surveys Maryland residents about political issues and has worked in partnership with The Banner.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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