The story of Robert Morin, the donor behind an impressive gift to the University of New Hampshire (UNH), reads like a quaint Nathaniel Hawthorne story.
Robert Morin lived a simple, almost hermetic life. He was a librarian for 50 years in a quiet New England town. He had a passion for movies and books. In fact, he read practically every book published in the United States from 1930 to 1940 in chronological order. He rarely spent money and never went out.
And wouldn't you know it, over the last half-century he amassed quite a fortune. A cool $4 million estate to be exact. Oh, and he was the librarian at his alma mater, the University of New Hampshire. And so, upon his death, Morin left $4 million to the school to because he "didn't have any relatives he wanted to leave it to" and felt the university could be trusted to spend his money wisely.
Morin's tale is the latest example of a type of donor that files inconspicuously under the radar, sometimes for decades, only to surprise everyone by leaving a massive gift for his or her school of choice.
Morin is a male analog to a woman named Goldye Marian Spain. Recently profiled here on IP, Spain, according to those who knew here lived a "somewhat secluded life." While Jewish, she was not a member of any of the synagogues in the Houston area where she lived.
Yet earlier this month, Rice University announced it received a gift of more than $4.1 million from the estate of the late Samuel W. and Goldye Marian Spain to the university’s Program in Jewish Studies and the Shepherd School of Music.
Morin's gift, meanwhile, will be spread out rather generously across the university, with $100,000 dedicated to the Dimond Library where he worked, $2.5 million to help launch an expanded student career center, and $1 million toward a video scoreboard at the school's new football stadium.
"Bob’s demonstrated commitment to UNH through his philanthropy is tremendously inspiring," UNH President Mark Huddleston Huddleston said. "We are committed to providing the resources needed to ensure every student achieves professional success and Bob's gift will play a major role in that effort."