On Tuesday February 26, 2013, Scripps College President Lori Bettison-Varga announced that the College received a donation of $5.5 million from the Sidney J. Weinberg, Jr. Foundation, a past donor to the Claremont Colleges.
In 2010, the foundation gave $2 million to Claremont McKenna College and $3 million to Scripps College, creating the Weinberg Family Dean of Science Endowment Fund for the joint W.M. Keck Science Department. The Weinberg, Jr. Foundation has also donated to other academic and educational institutions in the past, including Princeton University, the Harvard Business School, and the New York Times College Scholarship Program.
The foundation’s namesake, Weinberg, Jr., was a senior director at Goldman Sachs from 1999 until his death in 2010. His father, Sidney J. Weinberg, was Goldman’s CEO from 1930 until his death in 1969, and his brother, John L. Weinberg, served as CEO from 1976 until 1990.
The Weinbergs’ are connected to the Claremont Colleges through Weinberg, Jr.’s daughter, Elizabeth “Betsy” Smith SC ’74, who is now a trustee of her father’s foundation. In addition to being an alumna, Smith is the current co-vice chair of Scripps College’s Board of Trustees, where she has served since 1995. Additionally, her father was chair emeritus of the Scripps Board of Trustees and Chairman Emeritus of the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences until his death in 2010.
According to the press release from Scripps College, this gift is to be followed by a large-scale fundraising initiative the College plans to undertake. The release quotes President Bettison-Varga, who took the opportunity to praise the dedication of the trustees and alumnae of the college, saying, “Scripps College’s future is bolder because of the foresight and generosity of our valuable trustees,” Lori Bettison-Varga said. “Betsy Weinberg Smith is a committed alumna who exemplifies the qualities of Scripps graduates with her passion for making a difference. This key gift from the Weinberg Foundation to Scripps College will make an impact on the lives of young women for generations to come.”
The donation was met with similar enthusiasm from the student body. Emily Jovais SC ’13, the president of Scripps Associated Students (SAS), explains, “This is a great start to the fundraising campaign that will begin later this year. Scripps has a lot of exciting projects in the works and we hope that the generosity from the Board of Trustees and community members continues.”