Trinity College Receives Two Bequests Totaling Almost $3 Million

HARTFORD, Conn., Dec. 11, 2008 – Trinity College has received two bequests totaling close to $3 million.  The estate of the late Reverend John Curry Gay, who in 1998 received his master’s degree from Trinity, will provide almost $2 million in financial assistance to needy undergraduate students at the College.  A second bequest of close to $1 million in support of Trinity faculty salaries has been received from the estate of the late Kathleen O. MacNerney, widow of John Sheridan MacNerney, who attended Trinity from 1939 to 1941.

“These two generous bequests reflect the kind of powerful and lasting commitment Trinity inspires in those whose lives have been touched by a Trinity education,” said Trinity President James F. Jones, Jr.  “We are truly grateful for such meaningful support that will make a considerable impact at our College for years to come.”

A decade after Reverend Gay received his master’s degree in American Studies, the John Curry Gay Scholarship Fund is being established at Trinity to endow tuition assistance for needy students, with preference for undergraduate American Studies majors.  A Roman Catholic priest, Reverend Gay died in September 2007 at the age of 77.  He was ordained in Hartford’s Cathedral of St. Joseph in 1956 and served in numerous parishes in the Archdiocese, including as Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Wethersfield and at the Immaculate Conception Church in Waterbury until his retirement in 2004.

The bequest of Mrs. MacNerney, age 86 when she died in June 2007, honors the wishes of her late husband, providing ongoing support for Trinity faculty salaries.  The MacNerneys lived in Texas, where he served as a mathematics professor at the University of Houston for 12 years, until his death in 1979 at age 56.  After attending Trinity from 1939 to 1941, he worked at United Aircraft Corporation in East Hartford before serving in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1943 to 1946.  He completed his education at the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a B.A. degree in 1948 and a Ph.D. degree in mathematics in 1951.  MacNerney also taught at Northwestern University (1951-52) and the University of North Carolina (1952-67).

Founded in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1823, Trinity College (www.trincoll.edu) is an independent, nonsectarian liberal arts college with over 2,200 students from 43 states and 30 countries.  It is home to the eighth-oldest chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in the United States.  The faculty and alumni include recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur award, Guggenheims, Rockefellers, and other national academic awards.  Trinity students integrate meaningful academic and leadership experience at all levels on the College’s celebrated campus, in the Capital City of Hartford, and in communities all over the world.